Is there any truth in the saying that first impressions count?
Emma BedfordPatel from recruitment agency Tate believes there is and offers advice in this aticle to prospective job applicants on how they can smarten up to maximise their chances of securing a job.
However, from the employers view, whilst refusing someone a job on the grounds of their appearance may not automatically constitute discrimination, I would advise employers to be careful. If the reason for refusing the applicant is due to their appearance, and the reason for the individuals appearance is related to one of the grounds of discrimination (race, religious belief, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability) then you could have a claim against you.
An obvious example would be refusing to employ someone who wears a turban. The reason the turban is worn is because the individual’s religion requires them to cover their long hair. Therefore the individual will have been treated less favourably (not being given the job) on grounds of their religious belief.
Employers are therefore advised to consider why they are not offering the applicant the position, and if due to their appearance, to then consider whether this would be discriminatory on one of the six grounds listed above.