Debate over shorts ban at hospitals

Last week's story of a ban on shorts for hospital porters in Lancashire got Post readers hot under the collar.

Many people described the ban as ‘ridiculous’, but others were supportive of the hospital’s stance.

Among the commentaters was Julie Thorniley who said: “If women can wear skirts that show the their legs why can’t men or women wear shorts especially in summer?

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“They could be issued as part of the uniform choice to make sure they are suitable and respectable.”

Chiefs at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are scrapping a policy which allowed porters and other staff to wear shorts between May and August. Unite The Union has said the decision to throw out the policy has not yet been agreed and it will not accept a ban on shorts.

Margaret Rey, a new volunteer at the hospital, was in agreement with Jullie over the issue. She said: “I now go in a cotton short-sleeved T-shirt and cotton pants and I am lathered! The heat, especially if you are on the move, is unbelievable. The temperature outside is irrelevant.”

However a reader who commented on the story under the alias The Prince felt that porters should accept the new policy or leave the job. He said: “I don’t know what’s worse – the staff resisting the potential policy change or the union resisting it. At the end of the day, it’s not in anyway unfair for an employer to expect their staff to be dressed appropriately for work. If employees don’t agree with this particular proposal, they should look to find a job elsewhere as it’s not unreasonable.”

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Mark Nutley argued that porters should be dressed professionally. He said: “It’s a public service and they should dress appropriately.”

Others thought the issue was petty and some even thought the story was an April Fools joke. Nikki Holme said: “How utterly ridiculous. What difference does it make?”