There Have Been Several Complaints from Management About an Employee Wearing Headphones in the Workplace: How do I Handle it?

Posted in : How do I handle it NI on 16 April 2024
Emma Doherty
Tughans LLP
Issues covered: Disability Discrimination, Headphones in the Workplace

“We have had several complaints from management about an employee wearing headphones in the workplace. The employee said he needs his headphones, as they help him to concentrate and perform his role properly. How do I handle it?”

Whether or not wearing headphones in the workplace is problematic will depend on several factors including your industry, workplace environment and the employee’s job role.

The employee may argue that listening to music, a podcast, or even “concentration noise” makes them more productive or cancels out background noise, which could be an issue if they are working in a busy or open plan environment.

On the other hand, you could conclude that wearing headphones has a

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This article is correct at 16/04/2024

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Emma Doherty
Tughans LLP

The main content of this article was provided by Emma Doherty. Contact telephone number is +44 (0) 28 9055 3337 or email

View all articles by Emma Doherty