Everyone currently sweltering in the first heatwave of summer can feel his pain. While 20-year-old Joey Barge does understand the importance of a Dress Code in the office, it was so darn hot this week, he decided to don a pair of “smart” Shorts when heading to work. Bosses were not amused and told him to go home and change. He did – into a black and hot pink dress.

Barge wears a pink dress to the office

Barge works in a call center in Buckinghamshire and the weather is really hot there right now. Before getting sent home for wearing shorts to work, he headed to Twitter to post an image of his summer work wear.What he theorized was if women can wear skirts and dresses to work, showing off their legs and keeping cool, why shouldn’t he?

However he soon had to head back to Twitter with an update because he had been told he had violated dress code in the office.

In an interview with the Mail Online, Barge told them he had been sent home for wearing shorts, but that he figured if women can wear dresses, so could he. So he did. He donned the short black and hot pink number and headed back to the office.

Dress code relaxed due to Barge’s ‘protest’

Ironically, because Barge had to be sent home for wearing the shorts, bosses had a rethink in the meantime and updated their code. While they didn’t say the dress he was wearing was a violation of the dress code, they did say it was a little too colorful, suggesting he might like to go home and change. They added that because of his “protest,” he could go home and don his shorts again.

It turns out senior management had sent an email to staff to say the “gentlemen in the office” could wear three-quarter length shorts, as long as they were navy, black or beige in color.

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However, Barge told them he was comfortable and happy to stay, wearing the dress for the rest of the working day.

Barge headed back to Twitter to tell his followers he had accomplished a “partial win” in the office and got a lot of support for standing up to the boss, with several saying men shouldn’t have to wear suits when the weather is swelteringly hot. One Twitter user said he deserved a knighthood, while another joked that Barge “rocked” in that dress, but did respect him for making his point.

Trades Union Congress suggests relaxed dress codes in the heat

On a more serious note, Yahoo reports that the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has officially called on employers to allow their workers to wear shorts and even flip flops during the heatwave. In a country that tends to be cold and wet for most of the year, bosses must understand that their employees have difficulty coping with the heat.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary for the TUC, said in a statement that while everyone welcomes the sunny warm weather, working in those conditions can be uncomfortable and even dangerous.

She continued by asking employers to give their workers a break by relaxing the dress code temporarily, while ensuring outside workers are protected from the sun. O’Grady did say that obviously wearing shorts and flip flops isn’t right for everyone, but employees should not have to suffer in the heat, just for the sake of appearances.