Sun | Sep 20, 2020

Holness suspends no-sleeveless policy

Published:Friday | August 10, 2018 | 1:09 PM
File photo

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has ordered the suspension of the practice by ministries, departments, and agencies to prohibit persons wearing sleeveless attire from entering government buildings.

In a statement this afternoon, Holness said Cabinet has taken note of the concerns expressed by members of the public, especially women, about being denied access to facilities because of their sleeveless attire.

He pointed out that there is no law or official government policy against persons wearing sleeveless clothes but that government entities have instituted their own dress code practices.

Holness said he has ordered a full review of these practices with a goal of formulating a government dress code policy.


As promised, the Government has reviewed the longstanding practice of prohibiting women wearing sleeveless attire from entry into government buildings. 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has formally given instructions for the suspension of the no-sleeveless policy and instructed a full review of government dress code practices. 

It has been found, that while the practice exists to prohibit persons who wear sleeveless from entering Government buildings through “dress codes” established within particular Ministries, Departments and Agencies, there is no law or official government policy on which these are based.  

The Cabinet has taken note of the concerns expressed by members of the public and empathises with the unfortunate experiences shared primarily by women in both extreme and everyday circumstances.

In that regard, Prime Minister Holness instructed the Cabinet Secretary to write to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to make them aware that they are not to deny access or services to persons, based on their sleeveless attire, as this is not the policy of the government. 

To ensure the formulation of a proper policy, in the medium term, the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has been mandated to formulate, subject to consultation, a government dress code policy that is aligned with modern considerations as well as the climatic realities of Jamaica.

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