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
We recap on the traditional guidance for employers on misconduct at the work Christmas party. We also examine issues employers might face this Christmas around attendance and absence.
Almost half of the private-sector workforce is employed by family businesses. While many such companies are successful, sound policies are needed to avoid nepotism and claims for breach of contract and unfair constructive dismissal from non-family employees. Ed Stacey, a partner and head of the employment legal team at PwC, offers tips on good practice.
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.
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.
In Begum v Pedagogy Auras UK Ltd t/a Barley Lane Montessori Day Nursery EAT/0309/13, the EAT upheld an employment tribunal decision that there was no religious discrimination against a Muslim interviewee who was asked by the interviewer if she could wear religious clothing that did not present a trip hazard.
With high temperatures possible during the summer months, we explore some employment law scenarios employers may have to deal with.
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.
Consultant editor Darren Newman considers the Advocate General's recent opinion that it does not amount to direct religious discrimination for an employer with a policy of religious, philosophical and political neutrality to prevent a Muslim employee from wearing a hijab.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to employee appearance and behaviour.