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Homework Question - Law on Dress Codes for Small Businesses?

Discussion in 'Australian Law Students Forum' started by Hannah20, 5 April 2017.

  1. Hannah20

    Hannah20 Member

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    Hey friends,

    I'm new here, so I hope this is the right place to ask this sort of thing.

    I am studying Business Law as part of a marketing degree and I am really struggling with finding laws that I can site as part of a legal argument. The law has to be a law and not something out of a textbook... which is, well its stressing me out.

    I have looked under dress code, code of conduct, clothing...I just can't find anything! I was wondering if I am going about it the wrong way or if I am just not looking for the right thing... Can any of you help me?

    The question is:

    Kate keeps turning up to work dressed in black (Goth clothing), with an increasing number of tattoos and piercings. You do not feel this is appropriate for the salons’ image and want her to stop wearing Goth clothing and remove some of the earrings on her face.

    Can you tell Kate what to wear to work? What if she refuses?

    I can write up all the legal stuff, format it and everything and there are another couple of questions I have been able to find laws for.....But I just can't find any employment law or rule/relevant Law stuff for this.

    Can anyone help?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Have you looked at awards? Anything in the award?

    What about company policies? What is the legality of company policies and employment contracts?

    And I'd mention something about discriminatory laws? Not likely to be any discrimination, but should discussed.
     
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  3. Hannah20

    Hannah20 Member

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    Hey, thanks for you reply,

    I couldn't see anything that seemed to fit under awards but im still digging. I was wondering if it was under Misconduct, so far all I could find was FAIR WORK REGULATIONS 2009 - REG 1.07 Meaning of serious misconduct but thats for more serious misconduct than wearing piercings. Ill look for something on company policies next but everything I've found so far hasn't come under legislation :\
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Look at how employment contracts fit with both company policies and the Fair Work Act. Maybe there is an intermediate step linking a dress code to the Act.
     
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  5. SJM

    SJM Member

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  6. Iamthelaw

    Iamthelaw Well-Known Member

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    The question clearly involves discrimination. Perhaps begin by looking at the legal definitions of both direct and indirect discrimination. Check out the Equal Opportunity Act.

    Have you been given any additional information ie, Do you have a copy of the company dress code, employment contract etc?

    Employers can set a reasonable standard of dress and appearance that suits their industry as long as they don't discriminate. A dress code is discriminatory if it treats a group of people less favorably than another, and is unreasonable to do so.

    A starting idea regarding dress code: Employers often set rules regarding how their employees are expected to dress in a workplace. Rules regarding dress could be discriminatory if they affect some employees for different treatment because of their ethnic/religious background or certain other personal characteristics. Having said that, perhaps it is reasonable to request that a person not wear long baggy clothing if they're operating heavy machinery and as such it poses a safety risk. Further, if the clothing isn't or religious reasons then perhaps the request isn't discriminatory?

    As some one pointed out above, check out case law. Perhaps: Liza Gaye Fairburn v Star City Pty Ltd - PR931032 [2003] AIRC 479; (6 May 2003)?

    Hopefully you see where I'm going with this..
     
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  7. Rob Legat - SBPL

    LawTap Verified Lawyer

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