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
Updated to include information on the ECJ judgments in Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions NV and Bougnaoui v Micropole Univers, on employers preventing female staff from wearing Islamic headscarfs while working with clients.
The European Court of Justice has held that a direct religious discrimination claim in which an employee who wears an Islamic headscarf is dismissed to appease a customer cannot be defended on the basis of a "genuine and determining occupational requirement".
The European Court of Justice has held that a ban on religious dress that prevents a Muslim woman from wearing an Islamic headscarf when in contact with clients cannot be directly discriminatory, but is potentially indirectly discriminatory.
Requirements for women to wear high heels, make-up and a skirt were common in the 1970s, but do such requirements have any place in a 21st-century employer's dress code? In this week's podcast, we discuss the recent controversy around sexism in workplace dress codes.
When receptionist Nicola Thorp was sent home from an assignment for wearing flat shoes it created a flurry of debate and a subsequent parliamentary inquiry. Now the results of the inquiry have been published, what does this mean for employers who operate uniform or dress code policies?
Can employers have rules on personal relationships at work? Is it harassment for a worker to ask a colleague out on a date? Is it ever appropriate for a line manager to interfere in an employee's love life? With Valentine's Day approaching, we look at 10 potential problems with workplace romances.
We discuss the problems that can occur when colleagues are in a relationship, and what HR can do to manage those issues. We also answer some commonly asked questions, including whether or not it can be harassment to ask a co-worker out on a date.
Employers that enforce sexist dress codes could be in line for stricter punishment and fines, if the Government follows recommendations set out in a new report.
Updated to include information on Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Ltd, a High Court decision on vicarious liability for a managing director's "brutal assault" of an employee.
We round up our resources that will help employers ensure that the Christmas period goes smoothly and manage issues relating to staff behaviour at the office party, lateness or non-attendance at work, refusal to work overtime, competing holiday requests and payment of bonuses.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to employee appearance and behaviour.