IELTS-G 14 Reading test 2 section 2 Questions 15-20

Read the text below and answer Questions 15-20.

Dress regulations at work

Your contract may state that you need  to dress in a certain  manner or wear a uniform. Your contract might also state that you need to dress ‘smartly’, rather than specifying any particular garments. As you might well have conflicting ideas of what counts as ‘smart’, you should ask your employer for clarification. Many employers that have a strict dress code choose to provide clothing or a discount on clothing. However, this is not necessarily compulsory for the employer and is a factor you need to consider when taking a job.

Protective clothing and equipment

Your employer can tell you to put on protective clothing and equipment (such as gloves, a visor, boots, etc.). If you don’t, your employer is entitled to take disciplinary action, which can include excluding you from the workplace.

You are required to:

  • co-operate with your employer on health and safety
  • correctly use work items provided by your employer, including protective equipment, in accordance with instructions
  • not interfere with or misuse anything provided for your health and safety or welfare.

Of course, any protective gear has to fit and be appropriate for the situation. It shouldn’t cause you pain. If it does, you should negotiate alternative equipment or arrangements. Don’t be put off. Sometimes employers can, out of caution, interpret health and safety rules unnecessarily rigidly. And of course you shouldn’t be required to pay for any protective equipment or clothing that you need. However, if your employer buys the gear, they are entitled to keep it when you leave.

The obligation to maintain protective clothing lies with the employer. The employer is also required to provide an appropriate storage space to keep the protective equipment in when it is not being used. And finally, the employer must provide the equipment and service free of charge to the employee.


Banning employees from wearing jewellery and loose clothing may be justified to prevent a potential hygiene hazard if you work in areas of food production or areas which need to be kept sterile.

Likewise, your employer can  judge that loose  jewellery may constitute  a snagging  hazard if you operate machinery. If you think restrictions are not justified by health and safety

concerns, talk to your workplace union rep if you have one, as they may know of solutions to the problem which other employees have used before.