Areas of Law / Employment

I am male and work in a food processing factory. When I turned up for the job interview seven years ago I was wearing earrings, and I have continued to wear them ever since. They’ve now changed the rules and insist no jewellery is to be worn. Can they do this?

This type of change is unlikely to be regarded as a fundamental alteration to your employment contract, and certainly if it’s been brought in for safety or hygiene reasons you won’t be able to challenge the new rule successfully. If women are still allowed to wear jewellery you would probably be able to argue that you were being discriminated against. Your only other hope would be to bring a case under the Human Rights Act on the basis that the rule breached your right to freedom of expression.

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