Different dress codes do not necessarily amount to sex discrimination

Dansie v. The Commissioner of Police for The Metropolis [2009] UKEAT


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HHJ Peter Clark of the EAT decided in Dansie v Metropolitan Police that under the SDA a male employee who was requested to cut his shoulder-length hair was not discriminated against. He had not been subjected to harassment either.
  • The employee had argued his case for discrimination on the grounds that a female employee faced with a similar situation would not be required to cut her hair.
  • The EAT decided that discrimination would not be found in cases where a company dress code was seen to be balanced equally between the sexes.

  • The EAT upheld the ET's decision in finding that a female recruit who had failed to comply with the dress code would have received similar treatment to the claimant.
  • The EAT found that that the law recognises the validity of contemporary standards and conventions in addition to recognising that particular professions (here the Metropolitan Police) may legitimately have particular needs as regards a dress code.
  • This decision accords with those of Smith v Safeway Plc [1996] ICR 868 and DWP v Thompson [2004] IRLR 348.


The transcript of this case follows:-   Dansie v. The Commissioner of Police for The Metropolis [2009] UKEAT 0234_09_2010  (usually found at the Bailli or Employment Appeals websites)

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