Frank-Juergen Weise: 'An employee with a burka will not be tolerated here'

Frank-Juergen Weise: 'An employee with a burka will not be tolerated here'

Frank-Juergen Weise, CEO of the German Federal Employment Agency and the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, has banned staff from wearing a burka - the Daily Express reports. 

"An employee with a burka will not be tolerated here,” he said. “Just like people with sloppy clothes will not be accepted."

He added that headscarves will be allowed.

"If it is not reflected in a behaviour that contradicts our values,” he continued, “wearing a headscarf is fine for me. Then it is just a piece of clothing."

Could this be applied in the UK?

Speaking to HR Grapevine earlier in the year, Barry Warne, Partner and Head of Employment at hlw Keeble Hawson, discussed the steps employers can take to avoid litigation over dress codes.

“As the law currently stands, dress codes are perfectly legal and can be different for each sex - as long as the principle is the same,” he said.

“For example, ‘smart appearance’ probably allows women to wear their hair long but prevents men from doing so.”

He gave the following three pieces of advice for employers to avoid costly litigation: “[Firstly], while there may be practical reasons for demanding specific clothing and footwear in certain workplaces - such as for factory safety - this is far less applicable in an office environment. It would be much better to discuss and agree with office staff what a reasonable dress or uniform code should be.

“[Secondly], set in place a clear set of rules that all staff are made aware of.

“[Thirdly], ask employees to acknowledge formally that they know, understand and agree with the policy. Professional support may be needed in its introduction and implementation.”

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