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The Human Resources Institute of New Zealand

Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ) is the professional body for those involved in Human Resource Management and the development of people.

HRINZ represents the interests of 3,000+ individual members who make up around 45% of the known New Zealand HR market. Read More

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Dress Codes

It is generally acknowledged that most organisations throughout New Zealand or the world, will have some sort of appearance standards or guidelines that clearly state what the organisation deems appropriate attire and grooming practices for their employees to adhere to within the workplace.

Most of the time employers will implement these types of standards purely based on business related reasons, such as they want to present a professional image and corporate appearance to their clients, business associates, to promoting a uniform dress approach for all the staff (business suits only), eliminating any potential complaints/allegations by either sexes of outrageous or inapproperiate dressing in the workplace and for health and safety reasons. These dress codes are generally found in your staff handbook or code of conduct for your organisation.
The dress code can be as descriptive or simple as your organisation wishes to have. However, your employees must be able to have a clear and fair understanding of what is appreciated and what isn't apporpriate attire within the workplace.

Employers typically base their dress policy choices on the presumption that employees at all levels and job positions are representatives of the organisation and, therefore, their dress, grooming, and personal hygiene affect both the public’s impression of the business and internal morale.

In the past organisations who provided uniforms for their staff did so in order to maintain conservatism. Many organisations still wish to present this conservative corporate image to all their customers, business associates and general public then they will issue their staff with a corporate uniform, due to the nature of their industry. For example, the banking industry.

In recent times it is observed that many organisations are concerned about their corporate image and customer services. Here came the revival of the old uniform concept and the modern uniforms were rechristened as Corporate Apparel. It is the responsibility of HR to make sure that the corporate decisions of this nature are implemented without any employee grievances and related legal costs are avoided.

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Disclaimer: This information has been written for and submitted to HRINZ for publication and has been published in good faith for the general information of HRINZ Members of the Institute. HRINZ accepts no legal responsibility for the contents of the Knowledge Base and appropriate professional advice and assistance should be sought in particular cases.

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