The Importance of a Company’s Dress Code

There has been a lot of talk recently around dress code in the workplace, you may have all heard the Nicola Thorp story, a lady who got asked to leave on her first day of work after she refused to wear shoes with a 2-4 inch heel.

Companies need to be extra careful in this day and age that they avoid sex discrimination claims. In many cases companies are asking themselves, where do they draw the line? You will always get employers that try to push the boundaries and this includes things like jewellery and differences in men and women’s clothing as in Nicola’s case.

Should there be different codes for men and women? We have always seen the dress code for men being a shirt and tie and women being smart trousers, blouse and heels for example. Should this be the case anymore? Is this treating different genders differently? Only recently our schools in England have blended their dress codes to allow boys to wear skirts as well as girls wearing shorts or trousers.

Maybe dress codes should be more flexible in their focus to align with modern day thinking. Employees should feel comfortable within their environment. By changing an organisations’ dress codes to casual/smart, a person may feel happier and it may expand the diversity and allow a business to get to know employee’s individual styles. This could positively impact employee wellbeing, satisfaction and productivity due to feeling more relaxed.

A lot of people have got behind Nicola Thorp and I am sure she is not the only one that has been in a similar situation to this, so maybe companies need to re-think their dress code.