We wear special work clothing. Does my employer have to provide a changing room?

Yes. The Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) for the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 requires employers to provide changing rooms if workers need to change into special work clothing and remove more than their outer clothing, or if they need to protect their own clothing being damaged by harmful substances.

These changing rooms should be provided with adequate seating and allow for privacy. They should be readily accessible from workrooms and any eating facilities, and if showers or baths are provided, these should be directly adjacent, so that staff do not need to walk through other rooms to go between them.

The High Court has ruled that special clothing is any clothing which would not ordinarily be worn for work and which is designed to relate to the employee's work, such as a distinctive uniform. Clothing worn while travelling to and from work can still be special clothing within the meaning of the Workplace Regulations.

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