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XpertHR: Link formal dress codes to staff contracts

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Formal dress codes should be linked into staff contracts to ensure there are no “grey areas” in the choices workers make when dressing for work, suggests XpertHR.

Beyond that, codes should be communicated widely to ensure that all employees in serviced offices and other accommodation are aware of “the policy’s existence”.

Charlotte Wolff, an employment relations editor at XpertHR, said that formal rules would provide employees with clarity as to what was acceptable work wear in the office.

Ms Wolff said: “A ‘business casual’ dress code is notoriously hard to define, as is a ‘relaxed’ code. So the policy should set out what is not allowed, or what is required, depending on the needs of the organisation.

“Linking the policy to the employment contract is also a safeguard that could help enforce the code.”

It has been widely reported that a sales assistant at Harrods has claimed she was forced out of her job over her refusal to wear makeup.

Melanie Stark, 24, based in the HMV department at Harrods, said that she worked without makeup for four year before being asked to comply with the company’s regulations.

The dress code stipulates that women must wear “full makeup at all time: base, blusher, full eyes (not too heavy), lipstick, lip liner and gloss are worn at all time and maintained discreetly”.

XpertHR is an online information source for HR professionals.