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Who Should Pay for Work Uniforms?

Workplace uniform policies aren’t controversial topics for employees as most would expect a policy in place. However, if a company has specified what they expect you to wear and this involves you spending money to comply, who really should be covering this expense?

Obviously, most companies will only be able to grant what they can afford. What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that there are options available besides buying employee uniforms outright.



This is a particularly popular choice for retail employers who want their employees to wear the brand whilst at work. For instance, clothing giant Topshop has a uniform allowance in place for their employees which entails them to 60% off 5 items every three months. Similarly, multinational retail company H&M offers their employees a 25% off discount the whole year round. Of course, whilst the company would prefer for their staff to wear the brand, there is an understanding that employees may wish to wear brands they already own.

Essential buying.

For trade and hospitality industries, most employers will purchase the absolute essentials and any personalised garments for their working staff. E.g. hygiene caps, safety goggles, branded polo tops and sweatshirts.

Bulk buy.

Generally, e-commerce uniform shops will offer a discount when a company bulk buys their uniforms. Therefore, it may be worth browsing different sites to work out what is most reasonable for you with the discount included, providing you with the option to buy your employees their uniforms.

Company uniform trade account.

Another option as opposed to the one above, if you’re a large company with set uniforms for all employees, then you’re able to set up a trade account with your chosen online workwear supplier. Going one step further, once a trade account is established, it may be possible to download their app and create an account that all employees can access. This way, due to the sheer amount of orders that would occur through the app, you could arrange a discount with the workwear company. Consequently, making the process for staff simpler and more affordable, without the hefty expense of buying all uniforms.


All in all, the answer to who should be paying for your uniform is completely subjective to the company at hand. Apart from certain companiesFind Article, there is no obligation for businesses to cover the cost of their employee uniforms but there are definitely options out there to help staff.

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Alsico is the leading manufacturer and supplier of workwear in the UK and Europe, providing the option to set up a business trade account for those who bulk buy uniforms and need to purchase them as and when they need them:

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