Wearing jewelry to work: the rules

We recently covered the topic of wearing jewelry in the EFL/EAL classroom on the blog. After that we received a number of emails pointing out that in many schools jewelry is actually banned at work, and asking whether this was permitted by law. We’ll try and answer that question in this post.

In today’s workplaces, there are rules about what you can wear. This includes jewelry. Some places might not let you wear certain kinds of jewelry, especially if they show your religion or personal beliefs. This can be a difficult topic, and quite a few blogs have talked about this issue in detail.

Let’s start by saying that workplaces don’t have to have a dress code, but many do. Employees don’t always get to choose what they wear to work. So, your boss can tell you to dress a certain way and even stop you from wearing some types of jewelry (solicitormidlands.co.uk).

But there’s a catch. If a company makes a rule that negatively affects a person because of their religion or other personal beliefs, that could be unfair treatment. There are rules to protect people from this kind of unfairness, like the Equality Act 2010 in the UK. It lists nine areas where it’s not okay to treat people differently. These include things like religion, race, and sex.

Sometimes, bosses limit jewelry for safety reasons, like in factories where something could get caught in a machine, or in hospitals where they want to keep things clean. Food businesses also commonly have restrictions for health and safety reasons (haccpmentor.com). These kinds of rules are usually okay because they’re about keeping everyone safe.

When we think about all this, it’s important to remember rules should apply to everyone equally. For example, if a rule says no necklaces, it should apply whether the necklace is for fashion or religion. Also, men and women should follow the same rules, like with earrings.

Sometimes a company might have a rule that stops people from wearing any jewelry. This can be a problem if someone needs to wear something small for their faith. If there’s no good reason for the strict rule, it could be considered indirect discrimination. That’s not fair, and bosses should try to find a way to allow these small symbols.

There have been legal cases about this, too. One woman, Ms. Eweida, wanted to wear a cross for religious reasons at British Airways, but they said no because of their uniform policy. She went to court, and the court said she should be allowed to wear her cross (bbc.com). But in another case, Ms. Chaplin wasn’t allowed to wear her cross necklace at work in a hospital for safety reasons, and the court agreed with the hospital (bbc.com).

From these examples, we can see that companies can set rules about what you wear to work, but they have to think carefully about why they are doing it. Is there a safety reason, or is it just about how things look at work?

In the UK, there are also talks about possibly changing some of these rules because of bigger decisions about human rights laws. So, things might change in the future.

To sum it up, jobs can tell you what you can and can’t wear, including jewelry, but they have to be fair about it. They need to think about safety and not just looks. And they need to make sure the rules are the same for everyone.

Jewelry in the classroom:

In schools, the rules for what teachers can wear, including jewelry, can be different from other workplaces. For teachers, these rules often depend on what kind of class they are teaching.

If a teacher works with very young kids or in special education, wearing dangling jewelry could be a safety concern. Small children might pull on the jewelry, or it could be distracting during class. In science labs, wearing rings or bracelets could be dangerous if they catch on equipment or get exposed to chemicals.

On the other side, in a high school classroom where there’s less risk of this, teachers might have more freedom to wear jewelry. But they still need to be professional and follow the school’s dress code.

Just like in other jobs, teachers need to think about safety, not just how the jewelry looks. The rules should also be the same for all teachers, no matter who they are. And if a teacher wants to wear jewelry for their religion, the school should try to be understanding, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of teaching or safety.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *