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Young Workers Centre YWC
News from young workers

Know Your Rights: Clothing Allowance

Are you forced to buy new and seasonal clothing at work? Know your rights and stop being screwed at work. 

Employees are being forced to purchase the latest clothing lines from their workplace. The pressure to adhere to high standards of brand representation and merchandising creates a culture that rips off workers. Sure you may love the newest pair of culottes, but does that mean that you should be obligated to pay for them out   of your own pocket? The answer, absolutely not.

Workers who are required to wear the latest fashion trends and branded products should be getting reimbursed for the money they spend.


Some workers in the fashion and retail industries may be criticised for wearing out of season clothing, or a pair of shoes that are not store branded. Under the General Retail Industry Award 2010, when these items of clothing or accessories are worn for work, these items are considered special clothing, and something that your employer is obligated to either provide or reimburse.

In 2014, the Fair Work Ombudsman conducted investigations into eight popular-name brands who were not reimbursing their workers for clothing they were forced to buy and wear on the shop floor. Inspectors visited several shopping centres in Melbourne: Doncaster, Chadstone, Highpoint and Melbourne Central. The Ombudsman found that at a number of outlets’ staff were out of pocket a total of $12,400 due to clothing and accessories that had not been reimbursed.

We have heard of numerous people claiming of these unfair practices, and we want to do something about it.

You can contact the Young Workers Centre here