Dress Code Policy: What To Include, How To Write One and Sample To Use
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated August 30, 2022
Published February 25, 2020
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Many professions do not have fixed and formal stipulations for what employees should wear to work. Therefore, it is important that a company develops a dress code policy to provide employees with guidelines to help them dress appropriately for the workplace.
In this article, we offer everything you need to know about implementing a dress code policy at work and also provide a template and example of a dress code policy you can use to write your own.
What is a dress code policy?
A dress code policy is a document that outlines the appropriate dress code for a company's employees. Dress codes vary from company to company and are dependent on a company's culture and industry type. Whereas some professions come with an already-established dress code–for instance, law or medicine–other industries do not have any set rules or regulations when it comes to what employees should wear.
In such instances, a company may decide on a dress code that suits its unique needs and the image it wishes to project. If, for instance, a company's employees come into contact with clients, they typically need to dress professionally and neatly to make a favorable impression. On the other hand, employees in manufacturing or engineering companies will often need to wear protective clothing and safety gear.
What to include in a dress code policy
It is up to you as the employer to determine how detailed you want to make your company dress code policy. Make sure, however, to use a positive and respectful tone when drafting your policy document and provide a clear explanation for why you have chosen a specific dress code policy. If your workers understand the motivation behind the policy, they are likely to be more supportive and understanding of the rules and regulations.
Here are the common elements of a company dress code policy you may want to include:
A brief introduction: Start the document with a brief outline of what the company expects about how employees should present themselves at work and why this is important to the business.
The target audience: It is important that you state specifically who the policy applies to so that some employees do not regard themselves as exempt.
General guidelines: In this section, you can provide employees with general guidelines about appropriate clothing and other aspects like tattoos, hygiene and jewelry.
The dress code: You should clearly state what the general dress code of the company is and should also list exceptions when employees may need to follow a different dress code.
Accommodations: To prevent any possible issues, state that employees can address any concerns about the dress code to human resources.
Template for a dress code policy
Use this template to help you draft your own company's dress code policy:
Dress Code Policy for [Company Name]
Policy Brief and Purpose
[Company Name] requires that employees dress neatly and appropriately at all times and that they maintain adequate personal hygiene. The success of any company is reliant on the support and goodwill of its customers. For this reason, it is important that [Company Name] maintains a professional image. As representatives of this company, employees must adhere to the dress code policy.
Policy Target Audience
This policy applies to all employees of [Company Name].
The company urges employees to use common sense and sound judgment when it comes to selecting their work attire. When in doubt, refer to the conservative and formal side. To assist you, here are a few broad guidelines you can follow:
Company Dress Code
In general, the dress code for employees is [dress code]. [List instances where other dress codes may apply].
If the dress code policy contravenes the prescriptions of your faith or that it is offensive to you in any way, please contact human resources.
Example of a dress code policy
Here is an example of a dress code policy for help writing your company's dress code policy:
Dress Code Policy for Eclipse Computer Solutions
Policy Brief and Purpose
Eclipse Computer Solutions requires that employees dress neatly and appropriately at all times and that they maintain adequate personal hygiene. The success of any company is reliant on the support and goodwill of its customers. For this reason, it is important that Eclipse Computer Solutions maintains a professional image. As representatives of this company, employees must adhere to the dress code policy.
Policy Target Audience
This policy applies to all employees of Eclipse Computer Solutions.
The company urges employees to use common sense and sound judgment when it comes to selecting their work attire. When in doubt, refer to the formal side. To assist you, here are a few broad guidelines to follow:
All clothing should be clean, ironed and in good shape. Refrain from wearing clothes that have tears, rips or holes, even if it is the current fashion.
All employees should maintain an acceptable level of bodily hygiene to ensure that interactions with other staff and clients remain positive and pleasant.
Work clothes should be professional, which means that they should not be too revealing or casual.
We allow staff to wear jewelry but we urge that staff please remove visible body piercings during work hours.
The company has no policy against visible tattoos but urge that staff cover these when possible and practical.
Company Dress Code
In general, the dress code for employees is business casual. However, sales and marketing staff that have direct contact with the company's clients should follow a dress code of business professional during client visits and meetings. Technical staff that is busy with hardware repairs and installations are allowed to wear more casual attire, such as jeans, and should also make use of the overalls provided by the company for this purpose.
If the dress code policy contradicts the rules of your faith or is offensive to you in any way, please contact human resources.
Frequently asked questions about dress code policies
Here are a few relevant questions and answers about dress code policies:
Can a company fire me for wearing inappropriate clothing to work?
Yes, a company has the right to fire an employee who does not comply with the dress code policy. However, normally a manager or superior will first ask an employee to change their clothing. If, after repeated requests, an employee still does not comply, this may result in disciplinary action and dismissal.
What are the different kinds of dress codes?
There are four dress codes for the workplace: business formal, business professional, business casual and casual.
What kind of clothes is appropriate for a business casual dress code?
Business casual is the most common dress code that companies prescribe. Acceptable clothing for this dress code includes slacks, khakis, loafers, denim, simple jewelry and more casual but neat hair styling.
Can a company fire me for having tattoos?
If a company's dress code policy states that all employees need to cover visible tattoos, then you will need to comply with this rule. However, if your tattoo has religious significance, you may legally have the right to display your tattoo while at work.
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