The most annoying workplace rules revealed

Businesswoman in office, low section

Earlier this year, the government refused to ban companies from forcing female employees to wear high heels, after a high-profile court case.

London temp Nicola Thorp was sent home without pay after refusing to wear heels at a job for PwC.


See also: Woman claims she was fired for being 'too good looking'

SEE ALSO: Man claims poppy seed roll is reason he failed drugs test


But the temp company, Portico, isn't the only employer to have rules that drive their staff up the wall.

New research from job board CV-Library has found that more than a third of workplaces in the UK have ridiculous rules in place, with one in five workers stating that they feel they can't be trusted as a result.

The the cities most likely to have ridiculous rules in place included Glasgow, at a whopping 71%, Cardiff at 57%, Sheffield at 46%. In, Birmingham 38% of workplaces had ridiculous rules, and in London the figure was 37%.

However, more than half of workers said they'd simply ignore any rules they found too daft.

"Every workplace needs rules: otherwise you'd simply never get things done! That said it's clear that many of the rules highlighted in our research are just ridiculous," says Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library.

"Employees want to feel trusted, and while one workplace can differ massively to another, you have to treat your staff like adults – especially when it comes to being allowed to drink water and going to the toilet!"

The main types of silly workplace rules

1. Toilet troubles

Many people say they either have a strict time frame in which to go to the toilet - as little as three minutes - or have to ask before they go. Some say they're even searched before going to the loo.

2. Dress code dilemmas

Some respondents say they have to wear particular coloured clothes to match the business, others, that women aren't allowed to wear trousers. One individual even said that they were sent home for not dressing down.

3. Silent treatment

Some employees say they aren't allowed to talk out loud unless they're in the staff room, while others said that they weren't allowed to say hello to a customer, only 'good morning', or 'good afternoon'.

4. Time keeping

If you're two minutes late in one business you'll have your pay docked by 15 minutes - and in another you aren't allowed to travel further than 20 metres away from the building at lunch in case you're late back!

5. Beverage blunders

Some workplaces won't allow their staff to drink water; one won't let workers carry drinks up and down the stairs. Even worse, another company won't let employees have drinks on their desk in case they get spilt.

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Britain's most dangerous jobs
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Britain's most dangerous jobs

By far the most dangerous job across most of the world is fishing. Apparently 103 in every 100,000 fishermen will die at sea - most of them by drowning, and according to Oxford University, those who work at sea are an incredible 50 times more likely to die at work than anyone else.


How well they are rewarded for risking their lives depends on where they fit in the pecking order. At the very top, with your own boat and crew, in a good year, you could bring home more than £100,000. At the bottom of the heap as a trainee deckhand you would be lucky to get more than £10,000 a year.

In the army, these experts have the nickname Felix - because they need every one of the nine lives. We all make mistakes at work and in this role mistakes will kill or maim you. 

In return for taking up such a dangerous role, you'll be paid £32,000 a year, which is made to look even more paltry by the fact that many of these experts end up drawing a disability pension before very long.

The risks of working with highly volatile and explosive materials in impossibly difficult natural environments is bad enough. Add in the risks of working in politically charged environments where you may well be a target for terrorists, and you can see why this is a dangerous job. In fact it has a fatality rate of around 32 per 100,000, and around 100 people a year die in the industry- around twice the average for all UK workers.


This risk, however, is reasonably rewarded - partly because of the fact it can be hard to attract workers to the places where oil and gas needs to be extracted. It's not uncommon for those with experience to be making £75,000 a year.

Put people up high, give them something heavy and awkward to carry, then get them to do it in the rain. It's not surprising this is a dangerous job. What is perhaps surprising is that over the past five years 30% of all work-related deaths in the UK have been in this industry. The riskiest construction jobs are those where heights are part of the every-day business of work - with scaffolders, steeplejacks ad roofers facing the most danger at work.


The pay starts around £20,000 for skilled workers, rising to around £50,000 for site managers.

Around 54,000 road accidents involving professional drivers take place on British roads every year - which is around 250 a day. Meanwhile, one in four of all road deaths involve a driver who is at work at the time. Despite stringent rules about how long they are allowed to drive for, and in-cab telematics to make sure they don't bend the rules, tiredness is the main cause. 

In return for the danger, plus the long hours and the anti-social lifestyle, these workers can expect to earn around £25,000 a year.

The risks are perhaps unsurprising, given that drowning accounts for the majority of fatalities. However there are also problems from high gas consumption and mental health problems, often due to having to spend inordinate times decompressing in a confined space with another individual.

However, given the risks, the inhospitable locations and the skills required, the role can earn you £100,000 a year or more.

These are often ex-military personnel employed to protect wealthy or powerful individuals. The role is unsurprisingly highly dangerous, with the constant threat of terrorist attacks, enemy fire or booby traps.


There really is danger money associated with this job, which is another role than can earn the right individual 6 figures a year.

Around 15 police officers lose their lives at work every year. However, surprisingly, the biggest risk is from involvement in a road accident, which causes 70% of the deaths. Around half of these are officers getting to and from work. Meanwhile no more than one or two are killed by criminals in an average year. Fatalities, however, are only a small proportion of the massive number of injuries a policeman can pick up - with roughly one police officer injured every hour.


In return they can expect to earn around £40,000, rising to £55,000 for senior officers.

Again there aren't a huge number of deaths in the line of duty. However, every fire is potentially fatal, and every job carries the risk of injury. Injures are very common, although burns account for only 5% of them, the rest tend to be due to things like training and carrying equipment.


The pay has been subject to a number of arguments and even strikes but is currently around £30,000.

Perhaps it's surprising that this doesn't come higher up the list. Since 2001 over 350 have lost their lives fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The front line is clearly just about the most dangerous environment possible, and has to be up there with the place that most people would least like to work.


In return for putting their lives on the line in the service of their county, army personnel can expect to be paid £14,000 when they start out - rising to up to £100,000 for the most senior officers.

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