Flip-flops 'ban' for Plymouth City Council staff

Flip-flops Plymouth City Council said flip-flops "are a definite no-no" for staff

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Council workers have been told not to wear flip-flops and other inappropriate clothing to work during the hot weather.

Plymouth City Council told staff they "shouldn't be showing too much flesh and flip-flops are a definite no-no".

Unions said staff were working in "uncomfortably hot" offices.

The council said there were "no set rules" but it had asked staff not to wear flip-flops in the "polite reminder".

'Grown-up enough'

The advisory said: "It's fine being cool in the office, but please remember this is a business environment and we expect people to wear appropriate clothing.

"We shouldn't be showing too much flesh and flip-flops are a definite no-no!

Start Quote

As in any professional organisation staff need to dress appropriately”

End Quote Plymouth City Council spokeswoman

"There are no set rules. We think everyone is grown-up enough to choose their own clothes."

The union, Unison, said it was made aware workers would be given "basic guidelines to ensure staff understood what was expected".

A spokeswoman said: "Our members consider what has been published is being interpreted as a directive by managers, and that Plymouth City Council is not taking an appropriately pragmatic approach to the challenges our members face conforming to their managers' expectations in the current weather conditions.

"Members report to us that they are working in offices that are uncomfortably hot through the day, despite the provision of fans, which are merely serving to move hot air around their workplace."

A council spokeswoman said: "We all want to enjoy the hot weather but, as in any professional organisation, staff need to dress appropriately.

"There are no set rules but we've asked, for example, that people don't wear flip-flops.

"The issue usually comes up when we have good weather so this was a polite reminder."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    Boo hoo life must be hard, I met two police officers on bikes yesterday. Full black trousers , hats and stab vests, in thirty degree heat. Mate is also just back from Afghanistan where it is over one hundred degrees and they have to carry weapons, full packs and body armour.

    Get some perspective please and quit whining when you are asked to be professional.

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    Does what you wear materially affect the quality or safety of your work? If the answer is yes then dress appropriately. If not I don't really see why it matters. I personally care if someone does their job well, not how they look and find comfort is helpful in being productive.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    A lot of public sector workers slate the company I work for for various reasons, but at least the environment I work in is comfortable and friendly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    I can't work out what the Council's problem is. I have been going to work in my office all week in a mankini.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    "shouldn't be showing too much flesh "

    Brazened Hussie ! Beware the religious police will be out with sticks soon !

    What do you want happy cool staff who are working, or irritable hot staff who will probably be looking for other jobs because they are p****d off by some little jobs worth in HR ? Get a grip ! It will be back too sweaters and scarves in the office soon.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    For a second I got a bit excited and thought the council had decided to ban flip-flopping on their projects. Unfortunately, it was just a new dress code.

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    So if a guy wears flip-flops and a girl wears some stylish sandals, is the guy in the wrong? Maybe if the guy paints his nails it will be ok...

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    Looking at the state of some peoples feet maybe it's a good idea!

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    Its one thing EU implementing Health and Safety, its another thing bosses taking any notice of them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    What a lot of fuss over nothing. Many work places prohibit the wearing of flip flops on health and safety grounds. There's nothing new about this aspect of the story. It's perfectly possible to wear a flat and fairly open sandal that is cooler than shoes and looks smarter than flip flops. No need for council worker bashing however

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    29 Minutes ago
    Think some of you lot want to try a real job, like working down a coalmine in around 40 c temperatures and 100% humidity. You would not manage it, believe me you wouldn't.
    You were lucky. When I were a lad, I had to get up half an hour before I`d gone to bed, and lick road clean wi` me tongue.

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    Why don't the men they're banning from wearing flip flops turn up to work in a frock? There's absolutely no way the council could stop them doing this as they're not allowed to discriminate based on gender.

    And it would be a massive two fingers up at the clowns that came out with this claptrap. It's summer, wear what you want!

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    Its sexism.

    I work at a major insurance firm and the woman in my office are wearing short skirts, sleeveless tops, and sandals that are effectively leather flip flops.

    Yet men are expected to wear business like dress, of shirt, trousers and shoes. On dress down Friday it still applies, except we get to wear jeans and t-shirt, as if that makes a difference in this heat.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    Perhaps if employers were not too tight-fisted to supply air-conditioning units for each office, employees would not have to adjust their attire to remain functional in extreme temperatures. This kind of management instruction would get short shrift in most countries around the world. Imagine a USA without air-conditioning? Laughable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    69 Boro Jonesy said: '..shorts and flip flips? How does it impinge your ability to type?'

    I run a small on-line business from home. As I type this I'm wearing....nothing! Perfectly appropriate attire for a hot day, nice and cool so I can get some work done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    There's loads of decent sandals (both sexes) and smart summer weight clothing - no need for flip flops which can be dangerous where ever you wear them!. I was an office manager in a bank and always wore suits for work but tempered them according to weather - air con was so efficient in my office I had to put my jacket on indoors and take it off when I went out. Left the stockings off though!

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    I am surprised that the unions have not called for "hot weather payments" for staff yet.

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    If the Plymouth offices are as hot as the ones here in the Midlands, the workers have my deep sympathy! How come it isn't ok to wear flip-flops and minimal clothing? Why are there rules about covering up? Does it make people work any better if they are wearing more clothes and uncomfortable shoes in the hot weather?
    I don't think so.
    Get real council bosses and loosen up and be human.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    It really doesn't surprise me that it is Plymouth Council. I lived in the city for 36 years and know several council workers, this is typical of the senior management there. Unable to do a proper job of running their departments they come out with bizarre "rules" like this, possibly to show they are doing something for their money, or possibly just to pass the time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    I conclude that I'm the most obstreperous office worker. Whatever the weather, I wear what I want (jeans and t-shirt, usually plus hoody), and if the company doesn't keep the office at a tolerable temperature, they'll find me working from home.


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