Crop tops and flip-flops or sober suit and tie?

The sun is out, and you’re turning a nice shade of … honestly, off-white. You’ve finally had the chance to peel back the roof of the sporty convertible which the salesman sold you during the 24 hours of summer 2012. You’ve forgotten the last time that lunch didn’t involve a picnic or a barbecue. You’re counting the days until your fortnight in the Greek islands. What can possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, sunshine and the holidays don’t always go smoothly. You don’t want to worry when you should be enjoying the summer, so QualitySolicitors have prepared a series of humorous but helpful scenarios, just in case.

John Baden-Daintree, Head of Legal Services for QualitySolicitors said:

At this time of year, the last thing most of us want to be worrying about is the law – but summer and holidays do throw up some interesting legal conundrums. We’ve put together a series of light-hearted scenarios illustrating potential summer legal problems.  It’s part of our effort to demystify law. We hope our stories will cause a smile or two as well as make the law a little clearer.

A dress-code dilemma

It’s another sweltering day; the sky is blue, the smell of sun cream is in the air… and you’re on your way to the office wearing a black suit. To you, this seems unfair. Why does your boss not allow employees to dress in shorts and flip flops?

However rebellious and angst-ridden you feel, you decide against donning your Speedos and best sandals, as you feel that your colleagues probably won’t appreciate seeing your glowing white chest which hasn’t seen the sun for over a year, and head into work wearing your usual attire, silently cursing the world and everyone in it.

While you slowly melt in the office, you question whether it would be possible to change the dress code to something slightly more appropriate for the heat. For five minutes, you feel that you are going to be the catalyst for this change, leading your colleagues to shirtless victory… But this all comes crashing to a halt when you find yourself going to see your boss about this, wiping sweat from your brow while mumbling your predicament, after which he informs you icily that ‘our clients do not wish to see your hairy legs, or your Hawaiian shirt collection’. 

The issue is, most company dress codes state that employees should always be dressed appropriately to portray a professional image, and it is up to the boss whether to enforce this. Unfortunately, this does not always take into account what we want to wear in hot weather. Common sense should always prevail, and, although it might seem like a good idea at the time to dress like you’re on the beach, in the workplace this might not be practical.

You could discuss with your boss what you could wear to make you cooler while keeping a professional image, such as wearing short-sleeved shirts, but there is no legislation to force them to change their dress code. Having said this, you could make a claim if your boss doesn’t take into consideration religious and cultural dress. In this instance Baywatch Dreamer does not count as a religion.

QualitySolicitors are a national network of law firms with over 100 offices across the UK.  During this (hopefully) long hot summer, a series of scenarios will be posted on, illustrating the Law of Summer, including:

  • Your neighbours raucous party in their back garden lasts until 3am, again. What should you do? 
  • What does your contract with the deck chair attendant entitle you to if the chair collapses underneath you?
  • Your barbecue poisons your guests. Are you liable?
  • How delayed does your holiday flight have to be before you are entitled to any compensation?
  • How much does flesh does your bikini have to cover for it not to be considered an affront to public decency?
  • An incompetent gardening firm kills your lawn. What can you do? 
Posted in: employment law

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