nike dri fit golf polo Unions vow to fight council ban on staff wearing short skirts at work
The Daily Echo has obtained a memo sent to staff setting out examples of smart casual clothing women should wear, including informal dresses or skirts of “reasonable” length or trousers but “not mini skirts” or jeans.
The leaked document advised men to wear collared or polo shirts, cotton trousers such as khakis or chinos with a belt, and “dress shoes”.
It warned social workers, youth workers, educational welfare officers and others in the children’s services department to “carefully consider their work attire”.
It said: “During the coming weeks managers will be speaking to staff about the clothes they wear to work and making sure that they are appropriate for the activities they undertake.”
It added: “Please try to dress smartly and thoughtfully, in line with other professionals you come across in your day to day work, and in a way that shows respect to children and families.”
One council worker, who did not want to be identified,
told the Daily Echo said: “So now the council is deciding what we can and cannot wear. What is a mini skirt? Micro minis would probably not be acceptable, but above the knee? Are they going to come around with a tape measure? I thought the principle was to get the job done for the council taxpayers.”
The council’s Unison branch secretary Mike Tucker said: “I would have thought the council has got better things to do than impose a regimented approach to what people wear. If anyone is disciplined we are more than happy to defend them.”
In a statement the council said: “Southampton City Council does not have a rigid dress code. However, like all major employers, we do ask staff to dress appropriately in their workplaces.
“Staff interact with thousands of residents, business and partners daily.”
Council leader Cllr Royston Smith said: “I think this is a common sense, low bureaucracy approach and we’re sure the public and staff would agree is the right one.”
But people in Southampton city centre were divided over the mini skirt ban.
Student Gaini Dosanova, 24, said: “I think mini skirts look very good. I don’t understand why they want to ban them. You can wear them causally, to go shopping and I think they are suitable for smart casual at work. Also they’re quite cheap.”