Home Affairs Department wants to ban public servants from wearing sleeveless tops even when on video calls

The House Affairs Division desires its 14,000 staff to roll up their sleeves — but not much too considerably.

A proposed plan that would ban the community servants from donning sleeveless clothing — like when they are operating from home on a video-convention call — has been knocked back by the Honest Work Commission.

The commission ruled in favour of the Group and General public Sector Union (CPSU), which argued the department could not deliver the principles in before consulting team.

That means the proposed gown code, which labels sleeveless clothing as “unsuitable”, could however become permanent workplace policy right after the section speaks with the union and employees.

Employees at the division are based throughout Australia, in jobs that variety from policing Australia’s borders to taking care of disasters.

Defining professionalism 

The 11-site “procedural instruction”, which was emailed to workforce in February, outlines the new gown anticipations.

It gives illustrations of “acceptable” and “unsuitable” business attire.

Involved in the no-go list are T-shirts, shorts, polo shirts and “sleeveless tops, dresses and blouses”.

Suitable  Unsuitable 

Business satisfies

Energetic don (tracksuits, sports apparel, bicycle shorts) 

Business shirts with buttons and collar

T-shirts, polo shirts, tank tops

Costume style blouses and tops

Jeans, shorts (like gown shorts and cargo type) 

Organization/dress design and style slacks, skirts, jackets and dresses

Informal footwear (thongs, joggers, sneakers and Ugg boots)

Cultural gown acceptable for an place of work natural environment

Clothes that is torn, dirty or dishevelled in physical appearance

Ties (not obligatory)

Revealing outfits inappropriate for professional attire 

Dress shoes

Sleeveless tops, attire and blouses

It also includes regulations about what workers can dress in on “nominated relaxed costume days”.

The recommendations for informal wear say attire, blouses and tops could be sleeveless.

Suitable  Unsuitable 

Acceptable apparel determined in [the table] above

Unclean, dishevelled or torn garments or shoes 

A collared shirt including polo-shirts

Ripped jeans or outfits

Leggings worn as trousers

Shorts — Hawaiian, athletic or board styled shorts

Attire, blouses and tops may perhaps be sleeveless

Tracksuit pants and tops, hoodies and sloppy joes

Jeans, trousers and chinos

Clothes with messages, logos, motifs or slogans that could moderately bring about any offence or not be aligned with the [public service] code of conduct

Jackets that are neat and tidy

Work dress in — overalls, perform boots and higher visibility outfits

Fully enclosed shoes 

Sporting tops this sort of as staff jerseys

Footwear — thongs, gumboots, Crocs, Ugg boots, slippers, joggers, runners, keep track of or sporting sneakers

“The appearance of both our uniformed and non-uniformed officers is the to start with effect of the office and types a long lasting impact on the community,” the doc says. 

“Staff performing from home should display a neat and tidy appearance. If expected to go to a assembly in man or woman or practically with external functions the business enterprise professional attire typical applies.”

Rule disproportionately has an effect on females: union

A generic image of a woman checking emails while at a table of work colleagues.
About 54 for each cent of the House Affairs Department’s staff members are females.(

Pixabay: rawpixel


CPSU national secretary Melissa Donnelly stated the wording of the plan experienced crystal clear gendered implications and qualified women. 

“These type of procedures established a fairly restrictive conventional, which have implications for workforce.” 

She stated Dwelling Affairs had all about the nation, together with in spots like Darwin and Townsville, who may possibly not have air conditioning at house.

“Definitely, they’ve shaped a see they never consider it
seems specialist more than enough,” she claimed.

“Which is not my experience operating in a range of professional workplaces for a range of yrs.”

1 man or woman who contacted the ABC mentioned girls enduring menopause could possibly also come across it challenging to comply with the costume code. 

“As a menopausal lady, the capacity to layer and peel down to sleeveless tops in the place of work is very necessary,” she stated.

A different questioned why bare arms have been viewed as unprofessional in the initial location.

About 54 for every cent of the department’s staff are women of all ages.

Costume code an ongoing debate

This is not the to start with time the Household Affairs Department’s dress code has provoked a dispute.

Ms Donnelly reported most costume requirements in the general public assistance had been primarily based on unique place of work situations.

In 2015, a Senate estimates committee read the then-Immigration Office (Home Affairs’ predecessor) experienced banned Ugg boots and onesies.

Jan Dorrington, a senior executive at the division, told the Senate there were being worries about a vary of apparel staff members experienced worn to operate that have been deemed unprofessional. 

“I couldn’t visualize that several individuals would be rocking up to operate in Ugg boots,” questioned Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Youthful. 

“Ah, you would be shocked, Senator,” Ms Dorrington mentioned.

In a statement, the Dwelling Affairs Office reported it was at present thinking of the Reasonable Operate Commission’s conclusion.

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