Ties at work: A supreme court decision

Is a collar and tie necessary

A man tying his tie. Credit: Ground Picture/Shuttertock.com

Once an essential part of any man’s wardrobe, is a tie just an outdated piece of cloth, or does it symbolise something more?

Recently, Spain’s highest court was called upon to make an unusual decision regarding workplace attire specifically in air-conditioned shopping centres.

Dignity and decorum

The ruling came to light following a dispute between the Private Security Workers Union Alternative and Sicor Seguridad El Corte Ingles.

The argument revolved around the requirement for security guards to wear ties during the summer months at El Corte Ingles locations, a requirement that sparked heated debate.

Uniform requirements

The Supreme Court’s decision, spearheaded by Judge Sebastian Moralo, firmly supported the employer’s right to dictate uniform policies. It highlighted that such requirements were not in conflict with existing regulations.

As reported by Onda Cero, Moralo announced, ‘The requirement to wear a tie in summer is not contrary to current regulations’. This statement underscores the court’s stance on the matter, ensuring that workplace standards are maintained without compromising employee dignity.

Balancing tradition and comfort

The court’s approval hinges on the rationale that the tie requirement applies solely to guards working in air-conditioned parts of the shopping centre.

This decision reflects a careful consideration of working conditions, acknowledging both the symbolic importance of the tie and the practical aspects of job roles and environments.

Workplace attire

The ruling further aligns with the agreement reached with other unions within the company. It adheres to Order of the Ministry of the Interior 318/11, which entrusts companies with the authority to determine security guards’ uniforms.

This ensures a balance between professional appearance and the respect for workers’ dignity, alongside considerations for the season, work functionality, and personal circumstances.

In essence, the Supreme Court’s endorsement of Sicor Seguridad El Corte Ingles’s policy not only addresses the specifics of the dispute but also sets a precedent for workplace attire regulations.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.