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Allowing Casual Dress and Spirit Wear in the Workplace Alberta


Alberta employers may set dress standards for their workplace if they are required for health and safety reasons or are needed for the function of the business. However, employer should be careful that their dress codes do not discriminate against workers. Guidelines on this can be found in the Alberta Human Rights Act. Dress codes may also be flexible, allowing casual days or spirit wear for sports occasions. As an employer, it is up to you to decide if you want to give this benefit to your employees and how you will do it. Here are a few things to consider when allowing spirit wear in your workplace.

Dress codes and Legislation

Dress codes must first and foremost comply with Alberta labour laws, including human rights and health and safety legislation. Depending of your work environment, permitting casual dress or spirit wear may be a health and safety hazard. Safety wear must not be compromised, and it must be worn at all times by employees when required.

Employer Obligations

If allowing casual dress and spirit wear is appropriate for your work setting, the next step is to create and implement a dress code policy. Taking a clear stance on the subject and having the policy available in writing for employees to reference will prevent confusion.

Allowing Flexibility in Dress Codes

Employers might consider providing employees with greater freedom in choosing their workplace attire by allowing casual dress on select days. Office culture has been progressively changing to become more accommodating of employees’ well-being and comfort. Casual dress serves this by providing more clothing options, being more affordable and encouraging expressions of individuality. Allowing spirit wear on these or special days may also facilitate a more social environment where workers can bond over common interests.

Do you need help determining a dress code?

Get expert employer advice from our HR advisors. We can help you decide what is an appropriate dress code for your workplace, give advice on how to address spirit wear and help you create policies on this. Call us today: 1 (833) 247-3652.