Editor's message: The personal appearance of employees when at work is something that can be covered by a dress and appearance policy.
However, employers should carefully consider whether or not it is appropriate to adapt their dress code to accommodate employees whose cultural or religious needs make it difficult for them to comply with the dress code. Failure to do this could give rise to unlawful discrimination.
Managing employees' behaviour at work can be a challenging task for line managers. Putting in place policies setting out what is expected of employees in the workplace can help to ensure that employees behave in an appropriate and professional manner at work.
Sarah Anderson, employment law editor
Although some employers are adopting a more flexible approach to dress codes, latest Acas research shows that tattoos and piercings are still "frowned upon" in many parts of the services sector.
New research on appearance at work from Acas shows that employers may be out of touch with changing public attitudes to visible tattoos, body piercings and other developments.
A strict requirement to speak only English at work or a ban on religious dress at work can lead to the risk of race or religious discrimination, explains Deborah Bulman of Burges Salmon LLP.
The requirement to speak English at work and dress codes at work are policy areas where employers should tread carefully to avoid discrimination. Deborah Bulman, a senior associate from Burges Salmon LLP, considers recent legal controversies and gives tips on drafting employment policies.
With temperatures in the UK reaching 30 degrees this week, employers can expect to deal with issues around workplace temperatures, holiday requests and dress codes.
With high temperatures possible during the summer months, we explore some employment law scenarios employers may have to deal with.
The Advocate General's opinion in Bougnaoui and another v Micropole Univers is that a complete ban on Muslim women wearing a hijab while in contact with customers or clients is discriminatory.
The Advocate General has suggested that an employer cannot have a blanket ban on religious dress that prevents a Muslim woman from wearing an Islamic headscarf when in contact with clients.
Updated to include information on the Advocate General's opinion in Bougnaoui v Micropole Univers, on a ban on wearing an Islamic headscarf while working with clients.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to employee appearance and behaviour.