Home Affairs’ proposed dress code rejected for second time

By Shannon Jenkins

Monday July 26, 2021

It gets very hot in Canberra.
It gets very hot in Canberra. (Fyle/Adobe)

The Department of Home Affairs’ attempt to ban staff from wearing sleeveless tops has been rejected by the Fair Work Commission once again.

The ban was initially knocked back by the commission in April, with the entity backing the Community and Public Sector Union’s calls for staff to be consulted on the proposed rules.

On Thursday the commission rejected an appeal by the department to implement the uniform code, which would also ban the wearing of casual attire such as activewear, jeans, and sneakers, and would apply to staff working in office settings and on video calls. 

The department has voiced concerns about the fashion choices of its public servants before, and in 2015 warned staff that clothing such as Ugg boots, jeans and even onesies were unacceptable for the workplace.

The CPSU has welcomed the commission’s decision, noting that the proposed dress code had ‘clear gendered implications and targeted women’.

“CPSU members welcome FWC upholding workers’ rights to be consulted on policies that will affect their day-to-day working life. It is disappointing that Home Affairs cannot see the strength and experience its workforce could bring to policies and standards through consultation,” it said in a tweet.

“CPSU members are on the front line of immigration, border and national security every day, their experience can only make policies strong.”

Read more: ABF officers directed to remove patches and cover tattoos


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