UPS to allow beards and piercings in new inclusive dress code

UPS is known for its stringent dress code and appearance policy
DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press/PA Images

Delivery service UPS (United Parcel Service) will relax its rules on employee appearance, lifting a ban on drivers having facial hair.

Its new guidelines, which will also eliminate any gender-specific rules on appearance, are designed to “celebrate diversity rather than corporate restrictions”, according to an internal document seen by the Wall Street Journal.

In 2018, a man from Derbyshire was rejected for a delivery driver job at the company despite being told he was an ideal candidate, because he had a beard. UPS told the candidate it was company guidelines for drivers to be “clean shaven”.

UPS employs around 500,000 people globally and is known for its recognisable brown uniform and stringent appearance guidelines, including the length of shorts drivers can wear and how employees can wear their hair.

Under the new guidelines, Afro hairstyles and braids will be allowed. Employees will be allowed piercings as long as they are limited to earrings and small facial piercings.

Moustaches and beards must also be worn in a “business-like manner” and not “create a safety concern”, according to the document.

A spokesperson told the BBC: “These changes reflect our values and desire to have all UPS employees feel comfortable, genuine and authentic while providing service to our customers and interacting with the general public.”

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