Would you give this woman a job? Boots wasn't keen

Rosie Reilly rejected over 'inappropriate' appearance



A young jobseeker was shocked to be turned away from a job interview with Boots Opticians for not being dressed conservatively enough.

Rosie Reilly, 26, wore a black and white blouse with a high collar and a knee-length black skirt at her interview for a job as a sales assistant in the Richmond store.

But, she says, after the first section of the interview she was told that her clothes weren't suitable for the second stage, which was a trial on the shop floor. She was told she could come back on another occasion when she was dressed 'more appropriately'.

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She said the interviewer didn't seem interested in her previous experience, which included working at Debenhams, River Island, Topshop, BHS and Lush.

"Boots didn't tell me to dress in any way but smart casual and that's what I did," Rosie tells the Gazette News. "It was embarrassing to be honest. I was a bit flustered."

Dress codes at work have come under the spotlight in recent months after temp Nicola Thorp was sent home on her first day at work as a receptionist because she wasn't wearing high heels.

Following a petition, a parliamentary committee concluded that 'Discriminatory dress codes remain commonplace in some sectors of the economy'.

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High heels aren't the only dress code no-no


It's perfectly legal for an employer to insist on a certain dress code, but this mustn't be discriminatory. In one example, a Parliamentary committee recently heard, a black woman was told by Harrods that she would have to chemically straighten her hair if she wanted a job.

And back in 2009, a law student with a prosthetic arm was told by fashion store Abercrombie & Fitch that she would have to work in the stock room rather than on the shop floor.

Sometimes, of course, job applicants turn up in the most unsuitable clothes - like the job applicant cited by TotalJobs who turned up to her interview for a sales job wearing a painted-on denim jump suit and pink cowboy boots.

However, in Rosie's case, it's arguable as to whether the dress requirement was discriminatory - she wasn't told what exactly it was about her clothes that weren't suitable. However, she says, the outfit was her 'go-to' for job interviews and had never been criticised before.

Rosie says that she's had hundreds of tweets in response to her story, and that every one has been supportive - and she has other job applications in the pipeline.


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