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Equalities Office rejects new law on forcing women to wear heels at work

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The Government has rejected calls to outlaw company bosses from forcing female employees to wear high heels at work. The Equalities Office made the decision to NOT introduce a new law banning companies from requiring women to wear high heels in the workplace.


They said existing legislation was ‘adequate’ to deal with discrimination on gender grounds, but it would issue guidelines to firms this summer (watch this space).


Heels ,and dress codes generally, became a hot topic in Britain after receptionist Nicola Thorp was sent home without pay from her job as a receptionist at finance firm PwC in December 2015 for wearing flat shoes. Last year she started an online petition that gathered more than 152,400 signatures and triggered a debate in Parliament. Thorp has called the committees decision a ‘cop-out’.


The Government said that “the scope for redress already exists” under the Equality Act 2010. Staff could complain to their bosses or to a tribunal, it said.


It rejected calls from the MPs to increase fines for employers who are found by a tribunal to have sexist dress codes, arguing that the current fines of up to £30,000 for the most serious discrimination is “proportionate and fit for purpose”. It also rejected a call to allow tribunals to issue injunctions banning sexist dress codes.

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