End to Employment Discrimination against Men with Long-Hair

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Discrimination is alive and well in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are various Acts of Parliament that deal with discrimination. This covers race, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability, and age. These are all fantastic Acts of Parliament that ensure that most people should be allowed to work and is to be applauded.

However, we have recently seen and heard of cases of discrimination. People have been refused work, fired from jobs and told by employment agencies that an individual would have to work twice as hard as everyone else to get a job. It matters not that the person is well spoken, well educated, has relevant experience and dressed appropriately.

These people are men with long hair. To many of them, it is as much a part of them as their arms and legs, and to ask them to cut it off would be the same as asking them to remove a limb.

Both the banking industry and the estate agency industry will not hire men with long hair and this is perfectly legal. Not only is it legal, there has been legal precedence set. In the case of Smith v Safeway 2000, a man who was dismissed from his job on the deli counter because his hair grew too long to be kept under his hat, took a claim of sex discrimination against his employer. The case reached the Court of Appeal who ruled that this did not constitute sex discrimination. They stated that an appearance code which applies 'conventional standards' will be seen to apply an even handed approach between the sexes and not to be discriminatory. In this case Mr Smith had argued that the appearance code was discriminatory because to impose a permanent change of hairstyle would mean he would also have to wear his hair short outside of work. The Court of Appeal held that a restriction which extends beyond the workplace is a factor to be taken into account in considering whether the rule treats one sex less favourably but is not conclusive by itself.

Why is the establishment so against long-hair, or protecting the HUMAN RIGHTS of men who have long-hair? There are that if the law was changed, then it would open up cases for men wishing to wear skirts, make-up, facial piercings, etc. This is incorrect. All of these things can be removed/changed for the course of the work day. If someone is forced to cut their hair, then they can't magically grow it back when the leave work. This affects the individual both inside and outside the work place.

Also, the term conventional standards is erroneous. Who sets the conventional standard. Who decides this. In young males today, both ear-rings and eyebrow piercings seem to be more and more commonplace. Could a young male demand that he be allowed to wear these whilst working for a bank? Perhaps he should... after all, it is a conventional standard. Do these institutions demand that women grow their hair. After all, isn't it traditional that men have short hair and women long hair?

THIS MUST CHANGE! No longer will we stand by allow such blatant discrimination to take place. I believe that if a man has the ability to do a job, then if he has short, long or no hair should not be a factor. Hair can been tied back. Hair can be put under hats, nets, etc. There is no job that a man with long-hair cannot do as well as a man with short hair.

We DEMAND an Act of Parliament prohibiting discrimination based upon the length of an individual's hair!