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High heels in the workplace: government announces no legislation change

High heels in the workplace - government announces no legislation change

The College of Podiatry is very disappointed at the Government’s decision not to change the Sex Discrimination Act or the Equality Act to ensure that there is equity around dress codes at work.

We have been calling for the equality act to be changed for many years now working with the Trade Union Congress to promote these unfair working conditions that women face on a daily basis. In 2017 there should be equity at work no matter what your gender is. Men are not expected to wear footwear that they do not feel comfortable in, therefore women should not be forced to wear high heeled shoes in the work place as part of a uniform. 

Clinical evidence demonstrates the disabling effects of wearing a high heel shoe over a prolonged period of time. These include: foot pain, bunions, painful skin lesions, falls and subsequent ankle injuries. 

Maria Miller MP, chair of the Women and Equalities committee, said: 

‘Equality legislation is not sufficient to achieve equality in practice. This petition, and the committee’s inquiry, have reinforced the need for effective enforcement of legislation and for employers and employees to be aware of their obligations and rights.’

This summer the Government will publish guidance on dress codes in the work place and we hope that they take into account the recommendations of the Women and Equalities Committee and the College of Podiatry when doing so.

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