Linklaters adopts UK’s first Black hair code

updated on 12 March 2021

Magic circle firm Linklaters has adopted the Halo Code – the UK’s first Black hair code, which “explicitly protects employees who come to work with natural hair and protective hairstyles associated with their racial, ethnic, and cultural identities”.

The Halo Code was developed by the Halo Collective, which works with organisations and individuals to work towards a future without race-based hair discrimination.

Despite the Equalities Act 2010 making race-based hair discrimination illegal in the UK, it still continues to happen. In fact, 20% of Black women said they “feel societal pressure to straighten their hair for work”, while one in four Black adults recalled negative experiences from school regarding their hair texture.

Linklaters will incorporate the Halo Code into its dress code policy, while also reviewing other polices in line with its Race Action Plan.

The firm’s Global Diversity Partner David Martin said: “At Linklaters we are committed to being home to a culture and environment in which racial, ethnic, cultural and religious identities are celebrated and individuals feel comfortable to bring their whole selves to work. We pride ourselves on our values of respect, integrity and inclusion and stand against all forms of racism and discrimination.”  

The Halo Code’s mission is to “end hair inequality for good” by working with schools and workplaces to create communities “built on an ethos of equality and respect”. Organisations adopting the code acknowledge that “Afro-textured hair is an important part of our Black employees’ racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious identities, and requires specific styling for hair health and maintenance.”

Other firms that have adopted the code include Eversheds Sutherland, Bates Wells and Fladgate LLP.

Find out more about the Hale Code and how to get involved via the website.