Should it be legal to require females to wear high heels at work?

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It’s still legal in the UK for a company to require female members of staff to wear high heels at work against their will.

Should dress code laws be changed so that women have the option to wear flat formal shoes at work, if they wish? Are current formal work dress codes are out-dated and sexist?

Nicola Thorp was temping at top City firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers when she was sent home without pay for wearing flat shoes, as it was contrary to a “female grooming policy”. She has now set up a petition to make it illegal. At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.

“I’m not sure exactly how [wearing heels] improves my ability to do my job. In fact, I would argue that I could do my job better if I was able to walk properly.” says Nicola.

Following her experience, she was told by the employment discrimination advice service that it is not sex discrimination to expect women to wear high heels. In 2016 it is still entirely legal for an employer to require female employees to wear high heels against their wishes.

So how do you feel about this?

Should dress code laws should be changed so that women have the option to wear flat formal shoes at work if they wish? Do you wear high heels to work out of choice? Can flat shoes can be as smart as heels? Or do you think that it is acceptable to enforce the wearing of heels at work?

Should it be legal to require females to wear high heels at work?

185 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes - the law should remain No - the law should be changed

What are your views?

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major red
2nd Sep 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
if its safe its up to the individual if bosses want them to wear shoes for work give them
joanairey
23rd Jul 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
High heels are arguably a westernised form of foot binding. I believe shoes with heels above a certain height should be banned. I really don't understand why women would wear them anyway, particularly if they have pointed toes as well. They can deform the feet. You don't see men wearing them so why should women as they are not natural. It should be unlawful for employers to insist on their female employees from wearing them. I wouldn't even wish shoes like this on men!
Notdeadyet
29th Jun 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Stupid law. How do people with foot problems or other health problems that make them unable to wear high heels fare? Is this a wind-up? I have never heard of this law in all my working life which was 47 years. I can understand some companies having some misguided 'rule' of their own that states female employees should wear high heels because they think they look better in a customer facing role. Smart flat shoes and sandals can also look good. I have been unable to wear high heels for many years now including many when I was working. How anyone can wear those 'ankle-breakers' that are currently popular I do not know. They are so high they seem impossible to wear.
MorrisandDoris
28th Jun 2016
-1
Thanks for voting!
They do look nicer though!
Judy W
18th Jun 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
If I had been made to wear high heels to work I have no doubt I would have spent more time at the podiatrist and/or A&E than at work. I cannot agree with "Westminster" - I wore sandals at work for approximately 25 years without coming to (or causing) any harm. As long as they are clean, smart and well-fitting I see no harm in wearing this type of footwear in most workplace scenarios - obviously, common sense must prevail...I wouldn't dream of allowing someone to wear them in a warehouse, where steel toe-capped shoes may well be more appropriate!
VeeJ
16th Jun 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Who makes these laws? What rubbish. I loved my heels but with arthritis in my knees can only wear them on special occasions. Comfort should take precedence. It should be a matter of choice, a low heel can still look smart Surely a bit of common sense is needed here?
alisonmay
16th Jun 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Many women have foot problems.
celtwitch
17th May 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Perhaps the chauvinists who came up with this idea should be forced to wear starched high collars and top hats to work?
Pam1960
13th May 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
That would be interesting jeanmark. I wonder if bosses would be so keen to insist on this ridiculous policy of high heels if they were being sued for damaged feet and the other health related problems. Maybe such employers should pay for a chiropodist/podiatrist to keep their employee's feet in pristine condition
jeanmark
13th May 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
4 inch heels could lead to health problems in later life. Does this mean this company could be sued in the future for damaged caused?
Lionel
15th May 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Jean mark, you are quite right about health problems and damage to the feet.

My wife was a chiropodist for very many years, self employed and domiciliary. I can't tell you the times she's come home to me and regaled me with the foot problems of women who wore high heels, chisel toes and winkle pickers. Remember these last two? (She held patient confidence in never telling me names).

My life on farms meant water boots. Years of water boots. Not attractive work wear I grant you, but my feet are as good as they can be at my age. No problems with them.

I'm not saying everyone should be in wellies. No! But shoes to suit feet and not fashion ought to be the order of the day.
jeanmark
15th May 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
So agree Lionel, but I would say shoes to suit feet not gender.
Lionel
15th May 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Absolutely! There's nothing pretty about the 'flatties my wife wears, nor the shoes I wear. Nothing flattering. But whom are we trying to impress? Not each other. No need.
Janet Richards
13th May 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Perhaps if men were made to wear them too the law would be changed immediately!
animac
12th May 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
What a nonsense!! No woman should be forced to wear high heels.
Westminster
12th May 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
The rules should be the same for men and women. People should wear formal shoes to the office, not flip flops, sandals, trainers, or anything open toed.

There is no need for women to wear heels higher than those on walking shoes.

Of course all this publicity is to attempt to further the career of some would-be actress !
Lytham lucky
12th May 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
High heels always look smart... But to work 8hrs maybe going up and down stairs I think its too much I always started in them but swapped to flats half way through a shift
Pam1960
12th May 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
In a society with what I regard as quite strict Health & Safety policies I find it ludicrous that any company would find it acceptable for an employee to risk injuring themselves by wearing high heels. If one was to work in a warehouse for example they would not be allowed to wear open toe sandals. There is a risk of twisting an ankle or tripping on stairs by wearing high heels. There are lots of smart low heel shoes on the market which should be acceptable for any employee to wear. My feet are messed up from wearing heels in my younger days I wish the fashion had been to wear flats
jeanmark
13th May 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Well said Pam1960. I fail to understand why people believe wearing high heels look smarter than wearing a nice flat heel.

I have a friend who is 6 feet 2 inches tall and she went to work for a company who had a dress code for women to wear high heels. The CEO was 5 feet 9 inches tall and objected to his PA constantly looking down on him - he had the dress code changed!
BirdofParadise
12th May 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
As in this case and many other cases in this country, the law is an ass. Can't believe we are being dictated to in what we wear on our feet at work. Ok, trainers would be a no no in the office but I used to wear toe post sandals in the summer and nothing was ever said. I think it depends on the office but this law should definitely be scrapped.
Hannah5211
12th May 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Absolutely ridiculous! It should not be compulsory to wear 4 inch heels to work. I understand that this is what they stipulated. A court shoe with a small heel would be just as smart, and far more comfortable.
Pete H
12th May 2016
9
Thanks for voting!
Maybe high heels should be compulsory for the men who came up with this rule as well .... utter madness!!
Jo Kingham
12th May 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
What people wear on their feet is completely irrelevant in regards to how well they can do their job. What an archaic practice. It should definitely be changed.
JohnHerb
12th May 2016
8
Thanks for voting!
Please tell me this is a joke? I read this in the paper this morning and the girl was a receptionist so I presume she is sitting down and she was made to wear heels. The world has gone mad. We used to have something called "commonsense" If she is smart thats fine. If there is a uniform to be worn then that is another thing but I do not think women should be forced to wear high heels for work. As a bloke I was not told to wear brogues to work...just smart shoes
MrFred
12th May 2016
7
Thanks for voting!
Totally agree. I can see some cases - where there is a uniform - like an air hostess, for example - it may be acceptable to enforce, especially as the employee can be made aware of the fact that they will be required to wear high heels of a particular shape, colour, and height, before taking the job.

Enforcing high heels in an office environment, however, seems to serve no logic, except possibly to satisfy some fat cats particular fetish...

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