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what are my rights?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I work for a design company designing womenswear (for a well known high street company).

Anyway, I have purple hair. I dyed it purple. Before this it was green. Anyway, I have been told that if I don't dye it back to a normal colour I will lose my job.

I work in both London and Paris but Englsih law applies to my contract because that is where the firm is based.

I have read my contract and re-read it, I have had a friend who did law at uni read it, and there are no rules about hair colour.

I asked my boss to amend my contract to say that I muct have a normal hair colour but he won't.

Nobody at work has complained and I never deal with members of the public. When I am in Paris working people at work actually say how much they like my hair and it cheers them up.

It isn't as if I wear punky clothes to work, I wear a suit, but in my spare time I'm in a punk band, so I want my hair purple, or whatever colour I choose to have it.

There are women at work who dye their hair red and deep purple but they don't get into trouble.

My boss says I have two weeks then I'm out!
Can they do this??

Any advice / help greatly appreciated!

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: what are my rights?
    Originally posted by Van The Man
    Anyway, I have purple hair. I dyed it purple. Before this it was green. Anyway, I have been told that if I don't dye it back to a normal colour I will lose my job.

    ...My boss says I have two weeks then I'm out!
    Can they do this??

    Short answer, yes.

    Sorry but your employer has the right to ask you to dress a certain way, that reflects the image of his company.

    I looked into this myself a few years ago when I wanted to stop someone wearing an FCUK T-shirt on a reception desk. As it was a public access by many elderly people, I felt that it was inappropriate to be wearing a "Cool as FCUK" slogan. The person in question refused to remove it, so I consulted my HR team and they advised that the employer can decide the standard of clothing. There is nothing you can really do.

    Unless you have something considered "normal" hair colouring and see what he does. If he still objects, then you could remind him about other people in the company. I wouldn't advise it though, you'll get little benefit from making an enemy of your boss...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I see where you're coming from and agree about the FCUK t-shirt thing, but there is nothing in my contract or in the rulebooks published by the company for all employees.

    Outside of work my boss is a really nice bloke who comes over to our house for dinner and stuff, but at work he says his hands are tied, because it isn't professional.

    Oh well. I might try pointing out that I never see the public whilst doing my job and several women in the office have dyed hair (baby pink, red and purple)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It is a bit of a fluffy area...I'd suggest you contact one of the following:

    Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB)
    Advice and information on a range of issues, including benefits and welfare rights, consumer, employment and housing rights, money and debt. Helpline: 020 7833 2181
    Web: http://www.nacab.org.uk

    WERAS Wages and Employment Rights Advice Service Helpline
    Telephone service for low paid workers, their advisers, employers etc. Offers information and advice on pay, employment rights, and benefits.
    Helpline: 0800 220823

    to see exactly where you stand.

    Good Luck

    Susie :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    you could just save yourself hassle by dying it back.

    Your boss will inevitably be right, he can decide the dress code, as long as it is reasonable. And it is usually seen as a reasonable request for the employees to have standard hair colour.
    Pointing out the hair colour of the other female employees may work, however it is usually seen as more acceptable for female employees to have dyed hair.

    IF you want to remain friends with your boss then I suggest you do as he asks.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with whowhere as much as you try to stick up for yourself I would suggest you change it back you dont want to lose your job you have two weeks to change it you can always look into more rules and try legal action but is it worth the hassel?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just to let everyone know that I consulted the union and they sent a solicitor to talk to my boss. He said that he was acting on the wishes of someone else at the firm.

    Anyway, he said if it was up to him he would let me keep it but a few members of staff had complained.

    I will cut the long story short here..... a few of the blokes at work were jealous that I was higher up in the firm than them because I am much younger than them (they forget talent amigoes!) and they had complained that I didn't follow the company rules (what rules?! like I said, nothing in the rules about hair).

    The solicitor advised my boss to drop the request or an unfair dismissal suit may be on his hands. Anyway, he can't be bothered with the hassel and so he dropped it, I can keep the hair. He said he liked it all along!!

    So, it was all down to jealous men at work. Sad. :(
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