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Lucie Mitchell

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more about Lucie Mitchell

HR tip: Wearing shorts at work


These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.


Some of our employees, men and women, have started coming to work in shorts on hot days. Frankly some of them, the men especially, look dreadful. Are we entitled to stop this practice?

First consider the job they are doing. Is dress so important? If they do not have to dress formally ordinarily, I can see no sound reason for refusing to let them wear shorts. More important is that whatever they wear is clean and reasonably tidy, again taking into account the work they do. Second, judge the dress and not the person in it. You may not like to see a pair of knobbly knees but perhaps you will just have to put up with it. And third, take care not to commit sex discrimination by banning men but not women from wearing shorts. Why not demonstrate your own excellent taste by buying a pair of well-fitting formal shorts to wear to work on hot days?

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Lucie Mitchell

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Lucie Mitchell

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