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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44924
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My question concerns uniforms. I now work outsourcing

Customer Question

Hello, My question concerns uniforms. I now work for an outsourcing firm called Mitie which I was tuped over to from my former employer approx. 2 years ago. Earlier this month they have introduced uniforms which are essentially 3 piece suits consisting of Trousers, White Shirt, Waist-Coat, Jacket and Tie. Their only consideration / criteria when deciding on this uniform seems to be "Is it smart in appearance?" whilst it IS indeed very smart it is also (I would argue) TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE for the job in hand. I work in the Post-Room / Facilities department for a Pensions / Investments company and one of my duties is to carry stationery into the building, This includes reams of A4 Paper which (as i'm sure you can imagine) is very heavy. By my calculations, a combined weight of 420kg per week. Is there a law to say that a given uniform has to be appropo to the type of work in question? If so, I strongly doubt that my uniform does.
Kind regards,
***** *****.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.
Hello what do you believe an appropriate uniform would be for this job?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The previous guidelines (under my contract with my previous employer before I was tuped across) was that we simply wore Black Trousers and a shirt with no tie or jacket. I adhered to this throughout my entire time with them (i.e previous employer)and felt that it was appropriate.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.
Do you think the new requirements pose any health and safety risk? Please note I am just due offline for a short while but will reply fully early this afternoon thanks
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I certainly perspire more than I used to as I'm sure you can imagine. Does that qualify as Health & Safety?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Do they have a case to answer based solely on the fact that the job hasn't changed since they became our employers so why should the uniforms?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for your patience. I would say that it is unlikely this would amount to a health and safety issue. In terms f your rights to challenge the change in uniform, you are only able to do this on the following grounds:· If it is a health and safety issue, which as I identified it is not here· If it is a discriminatory issue – for example requiring women to wear skirts, restricting religious dresses with no justification, etc – but again here it does not appear to be anything linked to discrimination· If it is a change to your contract of employment – the issue there is that the previous uniform was just a guideline and also the employer does have the right to change your contract from time to time. So unless the changes were so serious that it meant you could no longer reasonably continue working there, it would be very difficult to have any legal comeback. In the circumstances I would say that the new uniform is an inconvenience and not entirely appropriate but it would not be such a serious change that it would mean you can no longer perform your duties as a result and give you the right to take the matter further. So in this case you do have the right to challenge this by raising an internal grievance, but following that, it would be unlikely you can rely on any specific legal grounds to take t any further. I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.
My full response should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? If your query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating, selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.
Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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