Government publishes dress codes guidance following high heels petition
18 May 2018
The Government has published guidance about dress codes and sex discrimination, following calls from the Women and Equalities and Petitions Committees.
- Government Equalities Office: Dress codes and sex discrimination: what you need to know (External link)
- Inquiry: High heels and workplace dress codes
- Petitions Committee
In 2016, 150,000 people signed a petition calling for it to be illegal for an employer to require a woman to wear high heels. The petition was started by Nicola Thorp, who was sent home from work without pay after refusing to wear high heels.
In an inquiry prompted by the petition, the Women and Equalities and Petitions Committees heard shocking stories of women suffering discrimination in the workplace, especially young women in insecure employment. They called on the Government to produce guidance to help employers and employees to understand the law.
Chair of the Petitions Committee, Helen Jones MP, said:
"Our inquiry showed that the shocking treatment suffered by Nicola Thorp, who was sent home from work because she refused to wear high heels, was not an isolated incident.
I am pleased that the Government has accepted that it needs to do more to tackle discriminatory practices in the workplace.
This guidance is a good first step in helping employers and employees to understand their rights and legal duties. There is now a great deal of work to be done to promote this guidance so that its message is heard by as wide an audience as possible."