Under the law outlawing discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, are company dress codes permissible?
Dress codes are permissible provided that they do not give rise to unlawful discrimination. There should be sufficient flexibility in a dress code to allow employees to comply with their religious or belief convictions. Failure to allow such flexibility could give rise to unlawful religious discrimination. For example, Muslim women may wish to cover their whole body, apart from their face, hands and feet. A dress code that does not allow men to wear ponytails could indirectly disadvantage Hindu men, many of whom wear a shika, a small knotted tuft of hair at the back of the head, as a symbol of their belief. Dress codes can also give rise to unlawful sex or race discrimination.