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Employee dress codes.

An employer has the right to expect its employees to maintain certain standards of employee dress and personal appearance. Having a dress code in place, and requiring employees to dress in a professional manner, helps to convey a positive image to the public, and provides employees with guidelines of what is, and is not, considered acceptable workplace attire.

Dress codes can differ based on an employee's job or the industry in which the employer operates, and should take into consideration the employer's business needs, job specific needs, and safety and health considerations. Different types of dress code policies an employer may have include:

* Business dress code--Generally appropriate for a professional atmosphere in which there is significant interaction with customers and clients.

* Business casual dress code--Typically implemented when an employer wants employees to dress comfortably while still projecting a professional image to clients. An employer usually sets clear guidelines on what clothing is and is not permissible under the policy.

* Summer dress code--May be implemented when wearing a suit to work in the summer is extremely uncomfortable for employees.

* Casual Friday dress code--Can be used by employers that want to maintain a professional image at work, but also understand employees' desire to dress down. Can be used to boost employee morale while avoiding changing the overall policy.

The policy should be flexible enough to allow any accommodations due to an employee's religious beliefs or observance (including religious dress and grooming practices), medical condition or disability.

Many employers require a uniformed workforce in order to present a certain image to the public. An employer that requires uniforms should make sure the uniforms are affordable and practical, and that they are made available in all sizes. The benefits that come from having all employees dressed uniformly will be lost if employees feel uncomfortable in what they are wearing.

An employer should ensure fair and consistent application of policies throughout the workplace so as not to give rise to employee complaints of unfair treatment.

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Publication:Franchising World
Date:Oct 1, 2015
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