Budget retailer Poundland has been forced to review its dress code after a row erupted on social networking sites following claims that it had banned staff from wearing remembrance poppies.
In a statement on Facebook, Poundland said it was not against employees wearing a poppy, but they were not allowed to do so on the shop floor because it is not part of staff uniform.
But the company said that it will now allow workers to "use their own discretion in wearing poppies" after hundreds of customers threatened to boycott its stores.
It had been claimed on Facebook that one member of staff was sent home from work and faced losing her job after refusing to remove her poppy.
But in a statement Poundland said: "On Friday 28th October a situation in Northern Ireland was brought to the company's attention where a store colleague was politely asked to remove a poppy by our store manager in order to comply with company policy.
"The store colleague decided to walk out and stated that she would return on Monday next wearing her poppy."
The red poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day and is worn as a mark of respect to servicemen and women who have been killed or injured fighting for their country.
The claims that Poundland had banned staff from wearing them sparked the row on Twitter and the store's Facebook page, with hundreds of people expressing outrage at the policy.
Comments included "disgusting" and "shameful", and some customers said they would no longer shop at the store, describing it as a "disgrace".
One Poundland employee, Vicky Hill, left the message: "I don't think this is right. It's a sign of respect. Everyone has the right to wear a poppy."