Responsibilities of Employees
The dress code is typically found in the Staff Code of Conduct or handbook. Some provide a comprehensive listing of “Do’s and Don’ts“, some prefer general guidelines. Although a lot of usual sense and many employees adhere to a standard of conduct without even realizing that, it is crucial to set clear rules so that inappropriate clothing can be dealt with. They include:
The main guidelines to consider for determining the dress code are:
- suitable attire to play the role;
- clothes are unlikely to be deemed to be provocative or sexually provocative;
- The garment is devoid of politically or other offensive or controversial slogans or logos.
- Workwear is not considered to be discriminatory, and it is culturally sensitive.
- Clothing should not put themselves or others in danger and must comply with all safety and health regulations.
Suggested Read: Teacher’s Workwear Dress Code Ideas 2021
But, it’s essential to question your assumptions and assumptions when you think about dressing codes. The person who is “smart” is another’s “casual”, and what’s considered acceptable changes with time. Tie-wearing is an excellent illustration – it was once required in many workplaces. However, a more casual approach isn’t adopted by the majority of companies.
No matter what you choose, it is crucial to ensure that your employees know that they must adhere to guidelines for dress codes. In addition to providing that the employees are professionally representing your school, there are possible health and safety risks when they don’t adhere to the dress code.
As the manager, you’re responsible for ensuring you are ensuring that dress rules and regulations are followed in all instances by your employees. Managers need to ensure that the new employees are aware of how to dress and its laws. It should happen in the process of recruitment and be reiterated during induction.
Wearing the appropriate and inappropriate workwear
The next section will examine the types of clothing that can be considered acceptable and inappropriate in the workplace.
But, the balance has to be managed between freedom of expression/personal fashion (including the freedom to practice religion), practicality, image and safe practices. It is always prudent to talk to staff before making dress code changes and be aware of your personal sensitivity. For example, leggings could be considered unsuitable. Still, they can make the best and most practical choice for certain body types.
Equally, consideration should be made for the sensitivity in the face of temperatures (everything between menopausal and seasonal changes) and financial status and the fact that some employees are unable to afford extensive workwear, and, of course, cultural considerations.
Furthermore, it would be best to remember that there are times to be flexible e.g. outdoor activities that are not geared towards children and sports etc. Such activities may also require appropriate clothes (e.g. caretaking, cleaning, technicians, catering etc.) Also, dress codes can be relaxed for occasions for informal training like fetes. The appropriate attire could include a mix of
- Blouses and shirts (long or short sleeves)
- The skirts should be of a suitable length (i.e. the minimum length of your knee) or pants
- Smart plain T-shirts/polo shirts
- Dresses, jackets, jumpers, business suits, tie
Workwear examples that you may not think are appropriate:
- Leisure shorts, unless they are required for sports or PE.
- Tracksuits are not required unless it is required for PE or sports.
- Badges, emblems, or logos on clothing
- Baseball caps are worn indoors.
- Wearing transparent clothing
- Clothes with holes, tears and rips or not neat
- Tops with low cut such as crop/vest tops, etc.
The footwear you wear is part of your overall outfit and is usually required to be secure and practical and in good repair, tidy and smart. Shoes are also essential to ensure safety. Some footwear, such as flip flops, may not be appropriate for all situations. For example, what is the issue with high heels? Is this a safety risk for all or only certain specific roles? Some roles may require particular footwear, e.g. steel toe caps.
It is also worth considering whether you would like to permit employees to wear other trainers than those used for sports?
Also Read: Business Workwear In Australia
In all cases, specific circumstances are considered, and any exceptions can be made, such as a woman who has swelling of the felt as a result of health or pregnancies.
It’s not only clothing that needs to be protected by dress codes. Other matters may need to be considered – some are that are more controversial Tattoos.
- Do you like tattoos to be visible? Perhaps, unless they are thought inappropriate or offensive. Incongruous or improper, in which case you can need them covered.
The Jewellery Industry and Piercing
- Jewellery is generally safe so that it doesn’t create health and danger to safety. Jewellery and piercings should be removed if they threaten health and safety, e.g. during PE. What about facial piercings that aren’t? Can they be considered acceptable?
- Although it is not a significant issue, there could be safety and health issues, e.g., handling food items or operating machinery. Hair must be secured or tied back. Consider whether you would feel satisfied if your employee coloured with bright, orange hair colour? If not, then your dress code must make this apparent.