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DISCRIMINATION: Heels, hemlines and headscarves

08 July 2016  

Sarah Fitzpatrick considers the legislation and recent decisions on dress codes in the workplace

Over the last few months the media have featured a number of dress-code stories, including ‘heelgate’, about a receptionist who was allegedly sent home when she refused to wear high heels. There have also been reports that a number of city institutions (traditionally bastions of the suit and tie) have introduced ‘business casual’ dress codes. At JPMorgan Chase, for example, polo shirts and casual trousers are now acceptable, as are dresses and skirts of an ‘appropriate’ length for the workplace.

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    C-157/15 Achbita & anor v G4S Secure Solutions (2016) Avocate General’s Opinion, Kokott, European Court of Justice, 31 May 2016

    Begum v Pedagogy Auras UK Ltd [2015] UKEAT/0309/13/RN

    DWP v Thompson [2003] UKEAT/0254/03

    Eweida & ors v UK [2013] ECHR 37

    Smith v Safeway Plc [1996] IRLR 456