College Dress Code
Policy on Dress: Health, Safety and Security Requirements
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Policy on Dress
1. Imperial College does not insist on any particular dress for its employees or students, except where there are health and safety or security concerns, or where a job or placement requires a uniform or protective clothing to be worn.
Health and Safety
2. Health and safety requirements may mean that for certain tasks specific items of clothing such as overalls, face masks, protective clothing, etc must be worn.
3. For security reasons, all employees, students and visitors to the College's premises must be readily identifiable. This means that Security, Reception and other staff and students should be able to identify a person on campus, usually by comparing their face to the photograph on their College Identity Card.
4. For this reason:
a. At all times while on campus staff, students and visitors must be able to present their ID card for inspection. In most circumstances it is recommended that the card is visibly on display, for example clipped to a waistband or breast pocket, or worn on a lanyard. Visitors must similarly carry their visitors' cards where issued with one.
b. Clothing obscuring an individual's face is not allowed on any of the College's campuses, except when required for health and safety or work-related reasons. Motorcycle couriers must therefore remove their helmets before entering College buildings. For ease of identification, employees, students and visitors should not wear clothing in such a way that it obscures the face. In applying this Policy, consideration should be given to weather and environmental conditions, and the location on campus.
5. College Security Staff have the right to ask individuals to identify themselves by comparison with their photograph on their ID card. Anyone who refuses permission for them to do so may be removed from the College's premises.
Job or Placement
6. A uniform may be required for particular tasks, either within the College or during placements with external organisations. Employees and students of the College will be required to comply with such requirements.
7. Where staff or students perceive that a particular slogan or symbol on clothing is offensive (for example, obscene, racist, sexist or sectarian), the wearing of such slogans or symbols will be considered as a potential disciplinary offence and dealt with accordingly. The disciplinary processes for students are detailed in the Student Handbook and those for staff in Respect for Others.
Religious and Other
8. The Equality Act 2010, states that it is unlawful to discriminate against individuals because of their religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief. Imperial College values the diversity of its staff and students and aims to create an environment where the cultural, religious and non-religious or similar philosophical beliefs of all are respected.
9. The College welcomes the variety of appearance brought by individual styles and choices. The wearing of items arising from particular cultural/ religious norms (including, for example, saris, turbans, skullcaps, hijabs, kippahs and clerical collars) is seen as part of this welcome diversity.
10. Subject to Paragraph 4b. above, if the College's Dress Policy produces a conflict with an individual's religious belief, the individual's line manager or the student's supervisor will, with the aim of finding a satisfactory compromise, sympathetically consider the issue consistent with the objectives of this policy. Such consideration may include ensuring that a version of a uniform for women includes the option of wearing trousers. Similarly, if a uniform includes headwear then the wearing of turbans should not be prohibited unless there is an over-riding health and safety need.
11. There will be circumstances, such as in laboratories or on student placement visits, where it may be necessary to impose particular dress codes, for example for medical students on placement in NHS Trusts.
12. The health, safety and security of members of the College community must be the College's prime consideration at all times. Where the health and safety or security of the person wearing the dress (or that of others) is compromised, it may be necessary to request that the person does not wear that dress or a particular aspect of it. This will be handled with sensitivity and the reasons for the request given.