As a general rule, employers can require that their employees wear particular clothes or uniforms to work due to safety reasons or to promote the company’s brand or image.
Can my employer require me to purchase clothes from the shop I work in to wear to work?
The Fair Work Act 2009 prevents an employer from requiring an employee to spend any part of their pay in relation to the performance of work if the requirement is unreasonable in the circumstances.
What is or is not reasonable will need to be considered on a case by case basis. For example, it would be unreasonable for an employer to require an employee to purchase particular expensive clothing each season in order for them to retain their job.
If it is a requirement of your job that you must wear particular protective or special clothing such as uniform, dress or other clothing, then under the General Retail Industry Award 2010 [MA000004] your employer must either provide the protective or special clothing to you or reimburse you for the cost of the clothing. If your workplace is covered by an industrial agreement then different conditions may apply.
For more information about uniforms and clothing in the Retail Industry, visit the Uniforms & clothing section under the Retail Industry page.