Is the Writing on the Wall for Scruffy Employees?

              Is the Writing on the Wall for Scruffy Employees?

  PR Newswire

  LONDON, November 27, 2012

LONDON, November 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

  *Almost half of UK adults surveyed think it is unacceptable for front-line
    workers to have a non-professional appearance
  *More than twice as many people say scruffy clothes would put them off
    approaching a shop assistant compared to visible tattoos

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With the Metropolitan Police banning offensive tattoos and HMV introducing a
dress code, new research by YouGov for HR experts, Croner ( ), backs employers who want to smarten up
their workforce. Almost half (49%) of British adults surveyed agree that it is
unacceptable for front-line workers to have a non-professional appearance.

Croner, part of global information services business Wolters Kluwer,
commissioned the research after it found an increasing number of employers
were contacting its employment advisory service with questions on how to
handle staff appearance issues.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, over a quarter (28%) of people surveyed say it is more
acceptable for front-line workers such as shop assistants and bar staff to
have a less than "professional" appearance, while far fewer said it is more
acceptable for nurses and police officers (4%).

However when asked what would put them off approaching a shop assistant, the
main offender was scruffy clothes (48%), ahead of tattoos (21%) and facial
piercings (37%).

Louise Barnes, a Senior Employment Consultant at Croner, says: "In the last 10
years or so people's attitudes to what they should wear, and how they look for
work, have changed. As a result employers have adopted a more casual approach
with measures such as dress-down Fridays. However, our survey demonstrates
that we have reached the point where some employees are unsure of the
acceptable boundaries and are failing to meet the standards their bosses want.

"As our research shows, it is really important for customer-facing staff to
look presentable, particularly at this time of year when the footfall at shops
such as HMV dramatically increases. Our advice to employers facing problems of
employee appearance is to think about what image their business wants
employees to portray. What is acceptable at one company may not be right
elsewhere. Whatever an employer decides they must consult with their employees
to make sure they do not have an adverse impact on, for example, one
particular sex or race, or individuals holding a particular religion or

Croner offers the following best practice tips for employers wanting to
implement a dress code policy:

  *Regularly review and keep up to date any code on appearance. Social norms
    regarding appearance evolve constantly and any code should be updated to
    reflect this.
  *Ensure that any code on appearance is properly publicised within the
  *Make sure the code is consistently applied throughout the organisation.
  *No regulations governing appearance should have an adverse impact on one
    particular sex, race or individuals of a particular religion or belief.
  *Consider the impact of any code on any traditional or religious dress, and
    be able to justify the code on business grounds in view of such factors.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size
was 2,185 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st October-2nd November
2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and
are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

Contact: Clare Moore,, direct dial -
+44(0)1455-89-7156, mobile - +44(0)7831-879886.
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