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TUC Demands Removal Of Dress Codes Forcing Women To Wear High Heels

A motion calling for risk assessments on high heels in the workplace and for policies which force women to wear high heels at work to be dropped was backed in a vote at last week's TUC Congress meeting. According to the TUC, some high-end retailers and banks force women to wear stiletto heels to work through dress codes, but the SCP believes this should not be the case for health and safety reasons. It called for employers to give employees a choice on what they wear.

Wearing high heels when using a computer, or stacking shelves, or as a shop assistant on her feet all day, can cause problems with posture, feet, and lower limbs.

Lorraine Jones, of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, which put the motion forward, said many employers in the retail sector force women workers to wear high heels as part of their dress code. The motion said that around 2 million days a year are lost through sickness as a result of lower limb disorders and that in the NHS, millions are spent on foot operations a year.

As predicted, the media once again used lies and deceit to slander health & safety and the trade unions and reported in the national papers that the TUC is calling for high heels to be banned.

In response a TUC spokeswoman said “We are not saying high heels should be banned. It is just one of the 85 issues that will be debated at the TUC Congress.” 

She added: “The SCP is not calling for high heels to be banned at work, just that women should be given a choice over their footwear.”

Lorraine Monk, of the University and College Union (UCU), was among those who opposed the motion. She said: “This well-meant motion will see the union movement portrayed in the media as the killjoy fashion police. Who decides what is appropriate when it comes to dress codes? My union previously fought a successful campaign against a college that demanded women lecturers had to have their arms covered at all times. Who thought that one up? A man.

We should list all inappropriate dress in the workplace; not pick on something that is symbolic of a much wider debate about gender roles and is something that many women have a particular view about – both for and against.

Let's debate the women's charter with the same enthusiasm as this debate. Let's demand mandatory pay audits to redress pay inequality. Let's stop telling women what to do.”

Source: Workplace Law Network / TUC

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