Morrisons Supermarket Banning Staff Wearing Poppies? - Internet/Facebook Rumour

27 May 2013 - Article No: 1729. Filed under: General | Internet/Facebook Rumour







Rumours are circulating the Internet and Facebook/Twitter that assert UK supermarket chain Morrisons have given a staff member a disciplinary hearing after they refused to remove a poppy badge from their uniform. The rumour is attached to what appears to be a disciplinary notice letter, presumably sent to the employee after the incident.

This is not the first time that a major UK high-street store has come under fire for apparently banning their staff wearing poppies. Rumours circulating social media asserted that discount store Poundland has banned the iconic remembrance symbol because it conflicted with their uniform dress code.
However the rumour was inaccurate, and were based on an isolated incident at one store, and Poundland executives quickly confirmed that employees could wear poppies in response to a social media outcry.

In this case, since the letter is regarding an on-going disciplinary matter regarding an employee, Morrisons will understandably not be able to go into any detail regarding proceedings. However as per a recent statement that did not deny the authenticity of the letter, it appears that an incident related to the message may have occurred. (Initial reports assert that the workers name was Adam Austin)

Morrisons said this on their social media outlets -


We understand that it’s important to many people to show support for our armed forces. Morrisons is a long time supporter of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and we welcome Help for Heroes fundraisers into store.

As a company we encourage store colleagues to show their support for the Royal British Legion by wearing poppies in October and November.

We currently ask that colleagues adhere to a company dress code which precludes bracelets and pins. However, we have reviewed these guidelines and colleagues working in non-fresh food preparation areas will now be permitted to wear a registered charity wristband.



The incident effectively involves a tightrope that many companies and their employees walk – the employee’s right to express themselves versus the right of a company to ensure employees adhere to uniform policies, of which there are strong advocates for both sides.

Advocates of the employee would argue that we have a right to express support for our troops and show patriotism whilst at work. Advocates of the company argue that a company have the right to ensure staff members adhere to uniform policy, and that allowing poppy badges would also mean having to allow other types of badges or accessories that express other beliefs, which could end up causing further problems, to which it is easier to simply say no to any kind of accessory.

And when it comes to something as sensitive as the iconic Poppy (especially so soon after events such as the Woolwich tragedy) then of course this incident will inevitably invoke strong public emotion.

Whether you agree with the Morrisons dress code policy or not, it is important to realise that the supermarket ban all types of pins and badges, not only ones related to the poppy appeal. Thus insinuations that Morrisons do not support British troops or are unpatriotic are baseless. The supermarket are a long time supporter of the Poppy Appeal and engage in plenty of charitable events aimed at raising money for charities like “Help the Heroes”.

It is also important to realise that these incidents do not have anything to do with offending minorities. Often these sort of incidents (which result simply from uniform policies) are exploited by racist or xenophobic individuals or groups who assert that such incidents occur because minorities may get offended. This is baseless and total nonsense and this propaganda is simply aimed at casing tension towards minorities.

Ultimately, like in many cases, this is another disagreement between what employees can and cannot wear to express their ideologies and beliefs without violating company policy. In this case it would seem, Morrisons do not allow badges to be worn by their staff members.

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