Work Uniforms - How to Get It Right

Work Uniforms - How to Get It Right

  • Date: Friday 23rd February 2018
  • PDF: Download

Implementing a uniform at work can be a costly exercise so it’s important to put a lot of thought into it before implementation.

Asking employees to wear a uniform can have many advantages, such as:

  • Suitability for purpose, particularly if H&S needs to be considered
  • Free marketing – your employees are displaying your brand wherever they go
  • Better customer service – it’s easier to spot who is associated with you
  • It’s easier to manage your dress code
  • Uniforms can be an added benefit for employees

 However, if you are planning to introduce a uniform, there are also some downsides to consider:

  • Employees may feel you’re compromising their freedom of choice
  • In some professions, this can have an impact on productivity / individualisation and morale
  • Uniform worn outside of work can cause reputational damage if the employee displays inappropriate behaviour
  • Wear and tear replacements are usually a bone of contention – be prepared to have arguments over the treatment of uniform

Make sure you really think about the above before making the decision to implement workwear and also consider consulting with your employees over whether or not they would feel comfortable with your decision.

You can use the checklist below to start with:





Mandatory or not?

Will we give staff the option to wear it, or is uniform compulsory for everyone?


Items of clothing

Will we provide a whole uniform or only particular items, like a fleece or shirt?


PPE element

Are we providing any branded PPE elements, such as hard hats?


Substance over style

Have we explored different options of clothing? Are they suitable, i.e. lightweight, durable, warm, weatherproof, well fitted, etc?

(Many workwear providers offer a sample to test – involve staff and get feedback!)


Legal compliance

Are materials chosen suitable to the working environment? (e.g. fire retardant, etc.)

Are items appropriate in line with the Equality Act 2010? (e.g. no high heels for ladies, summer trousers for gents, etc.)


Colour choice and logo

Does the chosen colour clash with our logo? Or does it lift it? If we only provide part uniform, will it be easy for employees to buy matching trousers / skirts?

Are employees happy with the colour choice?



Is the chosen provider reliable? Will they be able to provide us with uniforms in years to come?


Issuing and replacements

How many items will we issue to start off with?

What’s our policy on replacements?



How will I monitor the return of uniform once an employee has left?


Policy & procedure

We need to update our handbook / implement a policy on uniform.


Additional benefits

Employees can re-claim the cost of uniform cleaning through their union membership.



What might be my employees’ objections? Will I consult over the changes? How and when will I communicate the change? How will I deal with set-backs and unhappy employees?



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