Rule on ties that binds

2nd July 2004 at 01:00
Last year an employment tribunal ruled a civil servant had been unfairly dismissed for refusing to wear a collar and tie. This has now been overturned by the Employment Appeal Tribunal and sent back to the original tribunal for reconsideration.

The claimant complained about a dress code which said men must dress in a "professional and businesslike way", with a collar and tie. Women had to "dress appropriately to a similar standard" but continued to wear T-shirts.

The tribunal said it was discriminatory for men to be required to wear particular clothing while women were not.

But the appeal concluded that this was the wrong approach. The tribunal should have asked whether men and women could only achieve equivalent smartness if men wore a collar and tie.

Further challenges to dress codes look set to be made, following the new regulations outlawing discrimination by sexual orientation and religion.

But schools which still believe in particular dress standards should not be deterred. They can impose a dress code on staff that is different for men and women. The trick is to ensure that the overall effect does not lead to less favourable treatment for one sex.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now