How to Deal with a Smelly Employee

Videos on 22 August 2018

We’ve all come across someone whose personal hygiene isn’t as good as it should be.

It’s a common problem.

The number crunchers have worked out that one in 200 UK employees has a problem with body odour and that around 6% of UK employers will have to deal with this problem.

In an office, factory, or shop, it can cause a real headache for colleagues and managers. Hints like leaving anti-perspirants around the office or opening windows may well not be enough to nip the problem in the bud.

It’s embarrassing to confront, but it may well affect the work of other members of staff, be noticed by customers, and demoralise a business.

So, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and have a conversation with that employee.

Here are our tips:

• Be sympathetic, but outline the problem clearly. Don’t hint – be unambiguous.

• Explain the effect it’s having on colleagues and customers.

• Ask if there’s an underlying medical cause or a problem at home. Some people have conditions like hyperhidrosis which cause excessive sweating, others may have problems with their hot water systems.

• Try to be supportive and ask if there’s anything the business can do to help. Your employee may well be very embarrassed.

• Make it clear the situation cannot continue and set a reasonable time-frame for it to end. If the situation doesn’t improve, and there is no medical reason for it, you may have to consider disciplinary proceedings.



If you need more help or advice, call our experts on 0330 414 636.