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Dress Codes – Heeling over to meet Equality Act requirements
You may remember the news of the petition raised by Nicola Thorp over her employer’s requirement that she wear shoes with heels of between two to four inches as part of her receptionist role. It acquired 152,000 signatures and so was reviewed as part of a panel discussion and parliamentary debate on high heels and workplace dress codes.

The MPs heard that some women had found that their feet hurt so much at the end of the day that they could not walk and others spoke of being in tears because their feet were bleeding. Others said that they had been forced to wear high heels through pregnancy.

As a consequence of the review the Government has said that new guidance on workplace dress codes will be published, but that there will be no changes to the law. The guidance will be drawn up by the Government Equalities Office along with Acas, The Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Health and Safety Executive.

The Government decided that a new law was not needed because it was already covered as direct sex discrimination by the Equality Act. They say that they are clear that a dress code that makes significantly more demands of female employees than of their male colleagues will be unlawful under this provision.”

If you have questions about your dress code or would like it reviewed to ensure it is not likely to be considered to be discriminatory, please get in touch.
Posted on 27 Apr 2017

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