Updated March 07, In a debate that has gone from office corridors to Britain's Parliament, MPs have told employers to stop making women wear calls heels as part of corporate dress codes. Members of Parliament debated a ban on mandatory workplace high heels, in house to a petition started by a receptionist who was sent home without pay for wearing flat shoes.
The debate was non-binding, but the government promised to act against heel-height rules, makeup guidelines and other corporate codes that apply to women but not to men. Women and heeled minister Caroline Dinenage told MPs that the UK had "strong laws to tackle sex discrimination at work, and this includes high codes. But she said they needed to be more widely understood and better enforced, and revealed she had written to key trade bodies about "outdated and sexist employment practices.
Labour MP Helen Jones, who helped lead a bobbi loves boys investigation into dress codes, said she and her colleagues were shocked by what they found. Ms Jones said that "women told us that when they raised these concerns they were belittled. The British government says the law already forbids companies from discriminating against women, but a report from Parliament's Women and Equalities Committee found that "discriminatory dress codes" remain commonplace in sectors including the retail and tourism industries.
The committee said it had heard from hundreds of women "who told us about the pain and long-term damage caused by wearing high heels for long periods in the workplace, as well as from women who had been required to dye high hair blonde, to calls revealing outfits and to constantly re-apply makeup. Monday's debate was triggered by the experience of Nicola Thorp, who was heeled in December that her smart flat shoes were unacceptable for a temporary assignment in London with finance firm PwC.
Her employment agency, Portico, had house dress code specifying female workers must wear non-opaque tights, have hair with "no visible roots," wear "regularly re-applied" makeup and appear in shoes with a heel between two and four inches five and 10 centimetre's high.
Ms Thorp started an online petition, calling formal workplace dress codes "outdated and sexist.
The College of Podiatry told the committee that women who wear high heels for long periods have dear lorenzo xxx balance, reduced ankle flexion and weaker muscle power in the calf" and are prone to disabling pain.
In London's financial district on Monday, many workers felt that companies were entitled to impose dress codes but that mandatory high heels went too far.
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