Last Updated on 23.11.23 by Gorvins
The case of the female receptionist who got sent home from work for wearing flat shoes and refusing to buy high heels has put discrimination workplace in the limelight once again.
It has certainly sparked a debate and a fair amount of outcry that the current laws are perhaps a little antiquated for today’s society.
A petition calling for the government to outlaw compulsory high heels has nearly reached 140,000 signatures, which is enough to guarantee a debate in parliament.
Analyzing the Equality of Dress Codes for Men and Women
It is perfectly legal for a company to enforce a dress code but it mustn’t be discriminatory where it differs for men and women. In other words, employers can enforce rules, such as wearing high heels, if they can successfully argue that restrictions on men’s dress are broadly comparable overall to those faced by women at the same company.
“In respect of high heels, you would question why there is a requirement for the same and whether, for example, flat shoes would portray the equivalent level of smartness, to which I expect the answer would be ‘yes’. Furthermore, there may also be certain health and safety concerns to wearing heels.
“Miss Thorp questioned why a male colleague was allowed to wear flat shoes, but she wasn’t and was roundly laughed at.”