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Can your employer control how you look?


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#1 scooba1874

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:14 PM

I work in a large supermarket and recently there has been changes regarding the appearance of staff. They are saying that you must be clean shaven when coming to work and if you wish to do so, you have to grow a beard 'in your own time'.
Staff that have not complied so far have been sent up to the toilet and forced to shave in work.

Do they have to right to do this? Surely this is some sort of human rights issue? I am normally clean shaven anyway but feel really uncomfortable at the fact that they can control how we look. Any advice would be much appreciated.

#2 Boris

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:16 PM

View Postscooba1874, on 21 June 2012 - 12:14 PM, said:

I work in a large supermarket and recently there has been changes regarding the appearance of staff. They are saying that you must be clean shaven when coming to work and if you wish to do so, you have to grow a beard 'in your own time'.
Staff that have not complied so far have been sent up to the toilet and forced to shave in work.

Do they have to right to do this? Surely this is some sort of human rights issue? I am normally clean shaven anyway but feel really uncomfortable at the fact that they can control how we look. Any advice would be much appreciated.

I'd say they are in breach of a few employment laws there, but Citizen's advice would be a better advisor.

#3 scooba1874

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:20 PM

View PostBoris, on 21 June 2012 - 12:16 PM, said:

I'd say they are in breach of a few employment laws there, but Citizen's advice would be a better advisor.

I've not even been affected by the changes, its just scary thinking they have that much control. They already treat most of us like something stuck to the bottom of their shoe already, wouldn't like to think they have rightfully gained more power.

#4 Johanes de Silentio

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:21 PM

Growing a beard while not at work, while being clean-shaven at work?

Have they any idea how stupid that is? :lol:

I think it's fine to ask the girls to shave, mind.

#5 Ray Winstone

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:22 PM

If an employer asks people to be clean shaven...what sort of muppet would turn up having not shaved?





#6 scooba1874

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:22 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 21 June 2012 - 12:21 PM, said:

Growing a beard while not at work, while being clean-shaven at work?

Have they any idea how stupid that is? :lol:

I think it's fine to ask the girls to shave, mind.

Exactly, its ridiculous.

Standard.

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#7 scooba1874

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:24 PM

View PostRay Winstone, on 21 June 2012 - 12:22 PM, said:

If an employer asks people to be clean shaven...what sort of muppet would turn up having not shaved?

The ones who prefer a little stubble? Of which it should be their choice.

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#8 Boris

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:25 PM

View PostRay Winstone, on 21 June 2012 - 12:22 PM, said:

If an employer asks people to be clean shaven...what sort of muppet would turn up having not shaved?





But, I think the point is, does the employer have the right to ask that?

What about Sikh employees, for example?  Would they really force a Sikh to shave?  If not, why force anyone else to shave?

Unless there is some h&e or hygiene related issue, it just sounds like management being idiotic.

Edited by Boris, 21 June 2012 - 12:27 PM.


#9 Johanes de Silentio

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:28 PM

View PostRay Winstone, on 21 June 2012 - 12:22 PM, said:

If an employer asks people to be clean shaven...what sort of muppet would turn up having not shaved?

Somebody who wants to grow a beard or a moustache.

#10 Johanes de Silentio

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:28 PM

Mind Rangers used to have a ban on beards?

Is this a sectarian thing?

#11 Roger H. Sterling

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:30 PM

View PostRay Winstone, on 21 June 2012 - 12:22 PM, said:

If an employer asks people to be clean shaven...what sort of muppet would turn up having not shaved?

Seems to be a change in policy. If you've always had a beard and started your job in the understanding you'd get to keep it, then one day they decide you can't, you'd just shave it off without a fuss?

I look about 10 without a beard. I wouldn't work anywhere that forced me to shave it off.

#12 Ray Winstone

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:31 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 21 June 2012 - 12:28 PM, said:

Somebody who wants to grow a beard or a moustache.


'Do it in their own time' meaning if you can grow yourself a decent looking beard over a few days off and keep it looking neat and tidy then go for it.

If you have to endure weeks of bum-fluff and pube like hairs on an employees face then quite right to tell them it's not on.

#13 IronJambo

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:32 PM

View PostBoris, on 21 June 2012 - 12:25 PM, said:

But, I think the point is, does the employer have the right to ask that?

What about Sikh employees, for example?  Would they really force a Sikh to shave?  If not, why force anyone else to shave?

Unless there is some h&e or hygiene related issue, it just sounds like management being idiotic.

What they're asking is that they don't have designer stubble.  As in an "untidy" growth on your face.  I'm guessing that it's most certainly written down that beards are permitted but have to be kept tidy.  No issue for Sikh employee's at all.

I used to work in a place that insisted the above and I have to admit that I resented it even though it was made clear before I took the job.  I'm not sure how legal it is, and I think it would be very hard to enforce it as a new policy.

#14 Roger H. Sterling

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:32 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 21 June 2012 - 12:28 PM, said:

Somebody who wants to grow a beard or a moustache.

That as well. I reckon that as long as it's an actual purposeful growth and not just 'unshaven' then there should be no issue with it. If you can't grow a full beard and you're the type that has 4 patches of hair on their face, it can look clarty to come in unshaven.

#15 H J Simpson

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:36 PM

View Postscooba1874, on 21 June 2012 - 12:14 PM, said:

I work in a large supermarket and recently there has been changes regarding the appearance of staff. They are saying that you must be clean shaven when coming to work and if you wish to do so, you have to grow a beard 'in your own time'.
Staff that have not complied so far have been sent up to the toilet and forced to shave in work.

Do they have to right to do this? Surely this is some sort of human rights issue? I am normally clean shaven anyway but feel really uncomfortable at the fact that they can control how we look. Any advice would be much appreciated.


I hope that therfore includes fenmales who have a 'bit of growth' under their nose.

#16 Ray Winstone

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:37 PM

I read it as - they don't want you to be in the process of growing a beard while working every day.

OP can maybe confirm if people with existing beards have been asked them to shave it off rather than people with pube-beards after 2 weeks of patch growth?



#17 Johanes de Silentio

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:42 PM

View PostRay Winstone, on 21 June 2012 - 12:31 PM, said:

'Do it in their own time' meaning if you can grow yourself a decent looking beard over a few days off and keep it looking neat and tidy then go for it.

If you have to endure weeks of bum-fluff and pube like hairs on an employees face then quite right to tell them it's not on.

If somebody wants to grow a beard, they should have the right to do so, regardless of how long it's gonnae take.

If it's a case of poeple just not being arsed to look smart and tidy, that's different.

Personally, I have no need for facial hair. :verysmug:

#18 Johanes de Silentio

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:43 PM

View PostH J Simpson, on 21 June 2012 - 12:36 PM, said:

I hope that therfore includes fenmales who have a 'bit of growth' under their nose.

Or anywhere else.

#19 Jamdub

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:43 PM

View PostRay Winstone, on 21 June 2012 - 12:22 PM, said:

If an employer asks people to be clean shaven...what sort of muppet would turn up having not shaved?





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#20 Tommy Wiseau

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:43 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 21 June 2012 - 12:21 PM, said:

Growing a beard while not at work, while being clean-shaven at work?

Have they any idea how stupid that is? :lol:

I think it's fine to ask the girls to shave, mind.


It's not that stupid - the idea is that no one will grow a beard because unless they have a holiday, they won't have the consecutive time required. IIRC from working in Sainsbury's, this is the part that used to get them around the legalities because they aren't actually banning beards or forcing people with them to shave.


View PostRay Winstone, on 21 June 2012 - 12:22 PM, said:

If an employer asks people to be clean shaven...what sort of muppet would turn up having not shaved?


Me.  B)

I told JS to **** off when they asked me to shave in the store and not another word was said to me about it. Muppet like a fox, Winstone. Muppet like a fox.  B)

#21 Johanes de Silentio

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:46 PM

View PostTommy Wiseau, on 21 June 2012 - 12:43 PM, said:

It's not that stupid - the idea is that no one will grow a beard because unless they have a holiday, they won't have the consecutive time required. IIRC from working in Sainsbury's, this is the part that used to get them around the legalities because they aren't actually banning beards or forcing people with them to shave.

Of course it's ******* stupid - sure, Sainsbury's trolley fetchers have to look smart, but if somebody wants to grow a beard, that's their business.

#22 hmfc_liam06

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:47 PM

Is the supermarket in question of European origin?

I worked in one for about 2 weeks when I was at uni until I had enough of the 16 hour shifts, no breaks and forced to shave.

I just got up and left mid-shift.

#23 itsnomarooned

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:51 PM

I'm intrigued about trying to grow a beard "in your own time".  It would require some phenomenal control over one's body to be able to cease hair growth during working hours and then start again once you'd clocked off.

#24 Alan_R

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:51 PM

View Postscooba1874, on 21 June 2012 - 12:14 PM, said:

I work in a large supermarket and recently there has been changes regarding the appearance of staff. They are saying that you must be clean shaven when coming to work and if you wish to do so, you have to grow a beard 'in your own time'.
Staff that have not complied so far have been sent up to the toilet and forced to shave in work.

Do they have to right to do this? Surely this is some sort of human rights issue? I am normally clean shaven anyway but feel really uncomfortable at the fact that they can control how we look. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Tell them to ram it!

I hate being clean shaven. bit of a baby face. so i have a stubble trimmer.

Id keep refusing and if they try and sack you take them to court for everything you can. Surely unfair dismissal.

Even try claiming sensitivity to shaving/shaving foam!?

#25 scooba1874

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:52 PM

View PostRay Winstone, on 21 June 2012 - 12:37 PM, said:

I read it as - they don't want you to be in the process of growing a beard while working every day.

OP can maybe confirm if people with existing beards have been asked them to shave it off rather than people with pube-beards after 2 weeks of patch growth?

Existing beards are ok as far as I'm aware. It's just people that are growing them who are the problem.
And whoever asked, no the supermarket is British, not European. Largest in UK actually.

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#26 Serj Tankian

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:53 PM

Is it in your contract to be clean shaved if so not a lot you can do

#27 scooba1874

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:55 PM

View PostAlan_R, on 21 June 2012 - 12:51 PM, said:

Tell them to ram it!

I hate being clean shaven. bit of a baby face. so i have a stubble trimmer.

Id keep refusing and if they try and sack you take them to court for everything you can. Surely unfair dismissal.

Even try claiming sensitivity to shaving/shaving foam!?

Dangerous road to go down though, can't really afford to be losing my job.

I will be telling them to ram it though, actually quite determined to grow a beard now.

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#28 scooba1874

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:56 PM

View PostSerj Tankian, on 21 June 2012 - 12:53 PM, said:

Is it in your contract to be clean shaved if so not a lot you can do

Nothing in my contract about beards/being clean shaven.

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#29 Johanes de Silentio

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:57 PM

View Postitsnomarooned, on 21 June 2012 - 12:51 PM, said:

I'm intrigued about trying to grow a beard "in your own time".  It would require some phenomenal control over one's body to be able to cease hair growth during working hours and then start again once you'd clocked off.

This - I can barely sustain an erection, never mind stop my hair from growing.

#30 Ray Winstone

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:57 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 21 June 2012 - 12:46 PM, said:

Of course it's ******* stupid - sure, Sainsbury's trolley fetchers have to look smart, but if somebody wants to grow a beard, that's their business.


It is their business if they want to quit.



But while under contract with Sainsbury's they will have to do as they are told or risk getting the sack...

#31 Roger H. Sterling

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:59 PM

View Postscooba1874, on 21 June 2012 - 12:52 PM, said:

Existing beards are ok as far as I'm aware. It's just people that are growing them who are the problem.
And whoever asked, no the supermarket is British, not European. Largest in UK actually.

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This makes it just a little bit more acceptable. Stops the prepubescents, who make up most of the staff, coming in with their bum fluff. Surely stubble is acceptable though, if it's neat? And in such cases it's not hard to go from stubble to beard in stages.

#32 Johanes de Silentio

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:00 PM

View PostRay Winstone, on 21 June 2012 - 12:57 PM, said:

It is their business if they want to quit.

But while under contract with Sainsbury's they will have to do as they are told or risk getting the sack...

Sainsbury's can go **** themselves, then.

#33 Serj Tankian

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:03 PM

View Postscooba1874, on 21 June 2012 - 12:56 PM, said:

Nothing in my contract about beards/being clean shaven.

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Well push them to the limit then have a shave every hour just to keep the shaved look.

#34 hughesie27

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:03 PM

These rules along with the ones where girls aren't allowed 'un-natural' hair colours are ridiculous. I have never went into a shop and thought "wait a minute, that bimbo has white hair, no way am I shopping in here!"
I can completely understand it for H&S reasons if you were a Chef or something but stacking shelves isn't really comparable.

I bet it's TESCO.

Edited by hughesie27, 21 June 2012 - 01:05 PM.


#35 Chesterâ„¢

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:09 PM

View Postscooba1874, on 21 June 2012 - 12:52 PM, said:


And whoever asked, no the supermarket is British, not European. Largest in UK actually.



Has Britain moved away from Europe then?:lol:

In all seriousness, I think Boris has it right. Unless its a hygiene issue, I dont think they can tell you to shave it off. Much like they cant tell a man with long hair to cut it (IIRC it was an employee of Safeway who took it to court and won, back in the early 90s).

#36 ToadKiller Dog

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:31 PM

I think the employer has to justify that the no beard policy is in place for health and safety reasons ie food safety or getting stuck in a machine . They can't tell you no beards just because they think it doesn't look good . Though a smart dress code is allowed I would say unless they can prove your beard is a risk then what they are doing would be illegal .

Devout Muslims often have beards are they saying they would refuse to employ them ? Or are they saying a beard is ok as long as its a Noel Edmonds type tidy beard ?

#37 KennyMcP

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:20 PM

View Postscooba1874, on 21 June 2012 - 12:52 PM, said:

Existing beards are ok as far as I'm aware. It's just people that are growing them who are the problem.
And whoever asked, no the supermarket is British, not European. Largest in UK actually.

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Given that they all lay claim to this, I'm none the wiser!

#38 PsychocAndy

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:34 PM

A Paul Hartley type of facial hair growth would have you shaving every hour.

#39 Buffalo Bill

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:44 PM

Would these bosses challenge a Sikh to do the same? I doubt it.


Besides, what is a beard? Surely a week-old worth of stubble is a beard, is it not? Is there an EU regulation beard length?


A woman in my old office once told me that I needed a shave. 'So do you', was my response. And she did too. The same woman also had her ****-gut (belly) sticking out between her ill-fitting, glittery top which had a picture of an elephant on the front of it. Nice outfit for the office, eh?


Wear you stubble with pride and utterly destroy anyone who challenges you.

#40 Dandyman

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:52 PM

unless it is for heath and safety reason you can tell them it is against your human rights to be forced to shave, i always have very visible stubble and if my area mananger told me to be clean shaved the first thing i would do is pull out my contract and ask where it states i have to be clean shaving. i have to wear a shirt tie and dress trousers to my work and my contract states that so i do, but no stubble is not there so i shave when i want not if my boos told me too

#41 Currahee!

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:50 PM

We can't have beards at our work.

We need to wear breathing apparatus so we wouldn't get a seal if bearded.   :thumbsup:

#42 Cigaro

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:59 PM

Tesco - nap!

I havent been clean shaven for almost 18 months now, and was regularly getting told to shave. Now, I was keeping it tidy with a trimmer, but apparently there's a difference between stubble and growth. :blink:

They allow beards, but as said, these have to be grown in your own time.

Refuse to shave. If they make you, say you'll go home and do it. They'll say no and shut up for a day or so.

I had it in a disciplinary for unacceptable standards of appearance and quoted that a beard is "the growth of hair on the lower part of a man's face or neck" (or words to that effect), and therefore stubble is a beard. Not heard a peep since.

#43 kevinref

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 05:05 PM

View Postscooba1874, on 21 June 2012 - 12:52 PM, said:

Existing beards are ok as far as I'm aware. It's just people that are growing them who are the problem.
And whoever asked, no the supermarket is British, not European. Largest in UK actually.

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it will all be to do with health & safety issues, take you work in the chilled/bakery/grocery department( open food).
take it up with your union if your in it (USDAW),
they cant make you shave if you already have your beard,
but they can ask you to wear a beard/hairnet if requiered

#44 kevinref

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 05:07 PM

View PostCigaro, on 21 June 2012 - 04:59 PM, said:

Tesco - nap!



Refuse to shave. If they make you, say you'll go home and do it. They'll say no and shut up for a day or so.

I had it in a disciplinary for unacceptable standards of appearance and quoted that a beard is "the growth of hair on the lower part of a man's face or neck" (or words to that effect), and therefore stubble is a beard. Not heard a peep since.

used to love doing the disciplineries every monday morning without fail

#45 Ibrahim Tall

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 05:08 PM

Morrisons had the same policy when I worked there at school, remember getting "remineded" of it on a few occasions but I never heard of them actually forcing anyone to do it during work.  :mellow:

#46 salecc

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 05:18 PM

View PostBuffalo Bill, on 21 June 2012 - 02:44 PM, said:

Would these bosses challenge a Sikh to do the same? I doubt it.


A woman in my old office once told me that I needed a shave. 'So do you', was my response. And she did too.
first time I read this, I thought she came in the next day clean shaven :teehee:

Back until souness arrived at Ibrox, most football teams had a clean shaven policy, Hearts only tolerated moustaches, I am sure Cammy Fraser moved to the cheats and had to shave off moustache.

Can't remember many beardies at all, big Leishman and an Airdrie centre half.

Edited by salecc, 21 June 2012 - 05:19 PM.


#47 stew mc

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 05:29 PM

Never trust a man with a beard!!!:yucky:

#48 scooba1874

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 05:53 PM

View PostCigaro, on 21 June 2012 - 04:59 PM, said:

Tesco - nap!

I havent been clean shaven for almost 18 months now, and was regularly getting told to shave. Now, I was keeping it tidy with a trimmer, but apparently there's a difference between stubble and growth. :blink:

They allow beards, but as said, these have to be grown in your own time.

Refuse to shave. If they make you, say you'll go home and do it. They'll say no and shut up for a day or so.

I had it in a disciplinary for unacceptable standards of appearance and quoted that a beard is "the growth of hair on the lower part of a man's face or neck" (or words to that effect), and therefore stubble is a beard. Not heard a peep since.

So if stubble is a beard I can pretty much get away with it then. For the record, I don't want a beard or wish to grow one it is more to do with the principle.  

View Postkevinref, on 21 June 2012 - 05:05 PM, said:

it will all be to do with health & safety issues, take you work in the chilled/bakery/grocery department( open food).
take it up with your union if your in it (USDAW),
they cant make you shave if you already have your beard,
but they can ask you to wear a beard/hairnet if requiered

It's definitely nothing to do with open food cause every member of staff (male) are under scrutiny. I'm in the union and they would represent me but I would rather have information first. Seems if they can't define a beard then they have no case. Would quite like to know if it is against employment laws or human rights.

#49 kevinref

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 06:22 PM

View Postscooba1874, on 21 June 2012 - 05:53 PM, said:

So if stubble is a beard I can pretty much get away with it then. For the record, I don't want a beard or wish to grow one it is more to do with the principle.  



It's definitely nothing to do with open food cause every member of staff (male) are under scrutiny. I'm in the union and they would represent me but I would rather have information first. Seems if they can't define a beard then they have no case. Would quite like to know if it is against employment laws or human rights.

they cant force you to shave unless its in your contract, and tesco's don't have that in their contracts,
You may be surprised to know that the law does not regulate facial hair.
also what tesco's is it

It is a mattter of individual Company policy although i don't know why they are being such d1cks about it.

Edited by kevinref, 21 June 2012 - 06:22 PM.


#50 JamboJen

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 07:14 PM

Tesco as a company are massively into this at the moment. It's all part of them trying to improve customer service (which many of the new things they're putting into place are actually doing) but the current obsession with standards of dress is ridiculous IMO. I have a feeling it'll be one of those things that is being clamped down on now but will pretty quickly get forgotten about or at least won't be assessed as aggressively as it is at the moment.

I think/hope they're going OTT at the moment so that when things naturally drift back they end up in a place where people accept that they have to turn up to work looking decent, so if they can only grow bumfluff they have to shave but if they have stubble as long as it looks decent it's ok. At the other end of that there is an individual in my work who has a "beard" that looks like a prop from castaway. His facial hair seems far less appropriate than the majority of the guys who have been asked to shave so far but he gets away with it.