12 Oct Drivers facing ban on wearing shorts at work
Drivers in Bath and North East Somerset are facing a ban on wearing shorts at work as some people may find them ‘provocative’ or ‘sexually revealing’.
The proposal for the ban is being considered by councillors in BANES next week but drivers have spoken out against it, calling it ‘pathetic, petty and vindictive’.
Drivers have said they should be allowed to wear shorts, particularly during the hot summer months and the ban would mean drivers becoming ‘irate’.
Lloyd Cook from the Bath Spa Taxi Association said: “Banning shorts would just make it uncomfortable for all the drivers. ‘After the summer we had it would just make people more irate.”
Drivers are already banned from wearing ripped or torn clothes, sports clothes or with offensive messages.
Drivers have appealed the proposal, but a council officer responded saying clothing can vary widely in fit and length. “One person’s idea of an acceptable dress code can be very different to another person’s’,” they said.
One driver responded to the suggestion saying, “We have recently experienced temperatures in the mid to late 30s and often have to sit in our vehicles on the taxi ranks for up to an hour at a time in the full sun.
“We cannot leave our vehicles to seek the shade as this is against council regulations, so wearing shorts is essential – will the council be banning miniskirts as well?”
Another driver added: ‘Not allowing shorts after this spell of weather is pathetic, petty and vindictive.”
Fareed Baloch of zoom.taxi said the proposals, “Are worryingly authoritarian and are seeking to fix a problem of which evidence for its existence has not been produced.”
He also added that “making drivers unable to wear clothes suitable to temperatures inside their vehicle could very well compromise their health and the safety of passengers if a driver becomes unwell.”
“I believe passengers are perfectly able to manage a journey in a taxi in Bath by a driver who is wearing shorts and sitting in a completely different part of the vehicle to them and what is important is that the driver is licensed, safe and the vehicle is fit for purpose.
“If one passenger had a particular problem they could wait for another vehicle.
“The sorts of things a licensing authority should be look at is not what drivers are wearing but whether their requirements for getting a license are appropriate, whether there are enough taxi ranks and enough accessible vehicles for disabled passengers.”
According to The Metro, the council officer said the proposal was ‘intended to provide a standard condition where no member of the public travelling in a licensed vehicle is made to feel uncomfortable by a driver whose choice of shorts may be inappropriate.
“The dress code, whilst subjective in manner, is there to encourage drivers to convey a professional appearance, thereby improving the confidence of the public in choosing licensed vehicles as a preferred form of transportation.’
The new policy will be considered by Bath and North East Somerset Council’s licensing committee next week.