An office in Bangalore | Uriel Sinai/Getty Images
An office in Bengaluru| Uriel Sinai/Getty Images
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In a circular dated 2 March, the department said it was mostly the younger staff who reported to work in informal clothes and that the trend was ‘not acceptable’.

New Delhi: The income tax (I-T) department has warned employees against wearing casual outfits to work, saying such clothes “go against the modest atmosphere” of the office.

In a circular dated 2 March 2018, the department said it was mostly the younger staff who reported to work in informal clothes and added that the trend was “not acceptable”.

“The income tax department strives to maintain a workplace environment that is well-functioning, and a high standard of conduct and decorum,” the order said.

It added that any employee who failed to obey the order would be asked to leave the premises or change their clothes.

The ‘outlier’

The order comes amid a shift worldwide in employers’ opinion on office dress codes, with several companies doing away with the rule mandating formal work wear.

Software major Infosys went way beyond ‘casual Fridays’ and axed its formal dress code in 2015. According to the Economic Times, this was former CEO Vishal Sikka’s bid to connect better with his employees.

“From Monday, June 1, you can flaunt your smart business casuals all week long! This was a change that many of you had voiced and requested on various platforms, so we are really excited that it is official now!” the company said in a mail to its employees in May 2015. Infosys said it was confident employees would make the right decision on what to wear.

Banking giant J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. declared suits optional for its employees in 2016, making business-casuals the dress code, while, in India, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company is among the firms with a casual attire policy for employees.

According to a report in The Los Angeles Times, the shift is driven in part by the influx of younger millennials in the workforce. “You’ve got a highly competitive job market right now, and companies are having to be more creative about how they attract people,” the report said, adding, “One way is not just offering good compensation, but other perks, and employees today see dressing less formally as a perk.”

The biggest role, however, was played by the Silicon Valley and the tech boom, whose participants placed emphasis “on efficiency and shortening the lag time between planning and implementation”.

“Restrictive clothing worn for appearances’ sake was inefficient and Sillicon Valley was all about efficiency,” the report said.

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4 Comments Share Your Views


  1. It’s Delhi and haryana — this shouldn’t be news. Now if they’re burning 3 dalits as opposed to the usual individual ones. That, may be of some interest.

    Man, the more I think I pay taxes to a government run by these intolerable cow-worshippers, the more restless I get.

    And then Haryana ministers get offended when a Goan minister calls them “scum of the Earth”. It’s silly. Build a wall and keep em out.

  2. Post arrival of online fashion in India, the dressing sense of people have gone for a toss. In IT industry, Friday’s feel like fashion show and professional environment of office is lost. Even HR are reluctant to discipline them especially when the ratio of HR to employees is 1 to 1000. Professionalism needs to be maintained and asking someone to dress modestly is really needs to be done. Note – the fashion show is not gender based and both women & men dress as if there is no tomorrow.

    • And then your lot come down here to stop us eating meat, dress better, abolish alcohol and more.. And then ya wonder why we want to nuke your pointless states.


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