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Holness suspends 'no-sleeveless' policy

Friday, August 10, 2018

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

Holness had promised a few weeks ago to review the longstanding practice of government agencies prohibiting women wearing sleeveless attire from entry into government buildings.

A news release from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) today said that the review has 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 release further outlined that 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, 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 OPM said Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange 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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