Dress code in summer: Advice for UK employers

Many firms impose an employee dress code policy. However, problems often arise when the hot weather hits. The formality of office clothing tends to decrease as the temperature rises. The UK is not known for its clement weather. So, when the sun comes out many of us tend to get overexcited. Last week, we published guidance on how to establish an official dress code at work. Now, it’s time to look at how to tackle this issue on hot summer days.

It is important to note, that if there is a legal minimum temperature for employees (16°c or 13°c for physically demanding jobs) then there is no legal maximum temperature. That said, it is strongly advisable that employers consider the well-being of their employees.

Establishing a suitable dress code in summer is tricky. Largely because what is considered appropriate can vary depending on the industry or company culture, unless your company uses a uniform, that is.

Dress code for customer-facing employees 

It is often the case that customer-facing employees are required to follow more stringent rules regarding dress code. Dressing down too much could negatively impact the reputation of the firm.

To avoid any issues, always ensure that you clearly communicate what is deemed acceptable for these employees. Terms such as business casual are very broad and can be interpreted in many different ways. Employers may want to include examples of outfits that are appropriate for customer-facing roles during the summer.

If these employees are required to wear a heavy clothing like a full suit, you can help them by tailoring their surroundings. Try making sure that the office is air conditioned and has access to plenty of fresh water.

Dress code for back office employees 

Employees in non-customer facing roles are generally subject to more flexible dress code rules. Employers may want to consider flexing the rules to ease the strain of working in hot conditions.

Restrictions may still apply to ensure a decent standard of presentation is maintained. Employers should explicitly share guidelines and define what is acceptable and what is not.

It is at the discretion of employers to decide how strict they want to remain during summer. Employees should always be aware of the dress code policy, in addition to any temporary changes that are considered acceptable during summer. Good communication between employer and employee will ensure suitable standards are met during this time

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment