Hair Discrimination – is there such a thing?

World Afro day was celebrated on 15th September this year. The aim of this day is to change the negative perception of afro hair and encourage people to celebrate it instead. 

Following a couple of US states banning discrimination against natural hair, people in the UK have also called for similar laws to be put into place. There is currently an online petition which calls for hair discrimination to be banned. 

Even to this day, there are still many people who are discriminated against because of their hair. This can range from pupils being sent home because their hair does not conform to the school’s standards to employees who have had their job offers revoked because of their chosen hair style. 

In UK employment law, discrimination against natural hair could potentially fall under gender or religious discrimination. Employees could also argue that there are being discriminated against because of their nationality. 

Employers have the ability to put dress codes into place for their employees. This may be particularly important if there are issues to do with health and safety. As long as employers are able to justify their policy objectively, for example on the basis of hygiene or health & safety, they should have nothing to worry about!

If you would like us to review your policies to check that they are up to date with current employment law, please get in touch. Call us on 0115 870 0150 or email us at hello@yourhrlawyer.co.uk

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