Can my employer make me wear a tie to work?

Consider whether it's reasonable for your employer to ask you to wear a tie. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled – in a case known as DWP v Matthew Thompson – that requiring men to wear ties was not necessarily discriminatory. It was lawful, said EAT, to impose rules regarding the wearing of specific items of clothing, such as a tie, by members of one sex to promote 'smartness' as long as the same standard of smartness was applied to members of the other sex.

Rarely, there may also be health and safety reasons which make the compulsory wearing of ties undesirable. This might be on the grounds of hygiene if preparing food, or to avoid the risk of strangulation if using machinery.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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