Dress Codes and Teachers
Teachers as professionals need to dress in an appropriate manner.
The critical issue is to focus on what constitutes appropriate dress.
Any dress policy needs to be reasonable and fair, taking into account particular curriculum requirements.
Instruction from employer to dress appropriately
Employees need to follow lawful and reasonable instructions from their employer. The test of a reasonable instruction is that it:
- is not illegal
- is within the scope of the employee's contractual obligations
- does not demand performance of an impossible or dangerous task
Schools must consult with employees
It is not illegal for an employer to request that employees dress in an appropriate manner, but as with any Board policy there needs to be genuine staff consultation.
Good faith also means that there should be no arbitrary or ad hoc changes to policy by the employer. They need to be signaled well in advance so consultation can occur.
The best way to resolve individual cases regarding whether or not a particular item of clothing is appropriate is by direct discussion and negotiation.
PPTA would expect common sense to apply in such discussions and for the parties to be fair and reasonable in their expectations.