“Boots ban on male staff wearing shorts discriminatory, judge rules” - John-Paul Waite comments for The Telegraph
John-Paul Waite comments for The Telegraph following a Judge's ruling that preventing men from wearing shorts in the workplace is gender discrimination.
Mukid Miah, a Boots distribution worker brought a discrimination claim against his employer after he was reprimaned for wearing shorts on a hot summers day. Miah protested that women working in the warehouse were permitted to wear garments of the same length and were 'afforded a greater degree of discretion' to show their legs.
The decision appears to apply an established legal principle that it is unlawful to treat a man less favourably than a woman because of their sex (and visa versa). The nub of the discrimination seems to have been that a more relaxed dress code was applied to women than men, resulting in Mr Miah being told-off for wearing shorts in circumstances where a woman wearing a garment of similar length and formality would not have been. The decision illustrates the importance of having equivalent standards of formality in a dress code. It does not create an entitlement, per se, to wear shorts at work and will not bind other Tribunals when deciding whether a dress code unlawfully discriminates against men or women.
John-Paul is ranked as a leading junior and specialises in employment, police and public/administrative law. He has extensive experience acting for public bodies and private companies in the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal. He is co-author of The Employment Tribunals Handbook: Practice, Procedure and Strategies for Success