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Colleague Dress Standards Policy - Support Centres & Utilities

We have two Colleague Dress Standards Policies, each relating to different areas of our diverse business. They are:

Colleague Dress Standards Policy for Customer Facing Roles

Colleagues Dress Standards Policy for Support Centres, Coop Energy & Phone Coop

Each policy covers:

  • Guidelines on what is considered to be acceptable clothing and appearance for the workplace
  • Examples of unacceptable clothing and appearance
  • What happens if colleagues don’t conform to the policy

About this Policy


The purpose of this dress code policy is to provide colleagues in the Society’s support centre's (including our head office) and Utilities with guidance on how to dress when coming to work.

If you work in a customer facing role (for example one of our stores), you are required to wear a uniform and the Dress Code for Customer Facing Roles can be found here.

This policy is non-contractual, and the Society may amend it at any time.



Who is Responsible for this Policy?


All colleagues are responsible for ensuring that they dress appropriately for work in accordance with this policy. We trust that you know what is appropriate to wear to work, depending on the kind of work you will be doing each day. If you are unsure, you should speak to your line manager for clarification.

All managers are responsible for providing guidance to colleagues regarding appropriate clothing, where required. Managers should ensure that a consistent approach is taken when ensuring compliance with this policy. If you have any doubt, you should speak to your HR Advisor for further guidance. Managers are reminded that care should be taken to ensure that reasonable, confidential and culturally sensitive conversations take place with the colleague and that the standards laid out in this policy are applied fairly.



Dress Code


The way colleagues dress and their appearance are important in portraying a professional image to people we come in contact with, whether that person is a colleague, a customer or a member.

We trust that colleagues know what is appropriate to wear to work and to best represent themselves and the Society, therefore we ask that you ‘dress for your day’. What is appropriate to wear each day may vary depending on your job role and the interaction you have with customers, external visitors and colleagues.

For example, you may choose business attire for formal meetings with external visitors. Alternatively, you may wear more casual clothing for a full day in the office with no meetings. We appreciate each day may be different. Please always remember the need to be respectful in whatever you choose to wear.

Please do not wear anything that could be considered rude or offensive to others. At no time are offensive words, slogans or images acceptable on clothing worn to work. Colleagues must also maintain acceptable standards of hygiene at all times, as it is important we maintain a healthy environment in which all colleagues can work comfortably. Your manager will provide you with further guidance, if required.



Breaching Dress Standards


If a colleague breaches this policy, the line manager should discuss their concern with the colleague in the first instance and remind the colleague of this policy. Where the colleague is not dressed in line with this policy the colleague will be asked to correct the problem.  This may be achieved by one of the following:

  • The colleague will be asked to return home to change their clothes or amend their appearance to comply with the policy and return to work as soon as possible. In this event, the colleague is expected to make up their lost time to avoid any disruption to their pay.

  • Where a colleague’s appearance cannot be remedied by returning home to change their clothes, the resolution needs to be considered on an individual basis and managers should contact their HR Advisor to discuss this.


In all circumstances where it has been necessary for the line manager to discuss a colleague’s appearance, the details must be recorded. It is the manager’s responsibility to ensure that the colleague returns to their duties displaying the correct standard of appearance.   

The Society reserves the right to instigate the formal disciplinary procedure in respect of any colleagues who consistently breach this policy in accordance with the Society’s disciplinary policy.



Additional Support


For further guidance on this policy, including whether a colleague’s clothing is appropriate, please speak with your line manager in the first instance. Line managers should contact their HR Advisor if they require further support.




 Policy name:

Colleague Dress Code - Support Centre's & Utilities

Date of last review:

 October 2022

Policy owner:


Issue number: