A petition to make it illegal for a company to require women to wear heels at work in the United Kingdom has received than 100,000 signatures and will be debated in parliament.
LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MAY 13, 2016) (REUTERS) – A petition urging a ban on forcing female employees to wear high heels to work has received more than a 100,000 signatures in the United Kingdom, and will now have to be debated in parliament.
The petition was set up by Nicola Thorp who was sent home from her temporary job as a secretary for refusing to wear shoes with heels in December.
Her petition, set up on Tuesday (May 10), calls upon the British government to make it illegal for a company to require women to wear high heel shoes to work.
By Friday (May 13) it had received more than 120,000 signatures.
A lawyer said it was unlikely that the petition would lead to changes in laws in relations to shoes, however it could force judges to apply a modern interpretation to existing laws.
“There’s an argument that says if a woman is forced to wear something that makes her feel uncomfortable, or inhibit the way in which she can carry out her professional duties, then that could be less favourable treatment and it’s not applying a level of equivalence, because the dress code of making her wear inches – somewhere between two and four inches – is less favourable to her as a woman,” said employment lawyer Rebecca Tuck.
“There is a precedent for that. There was a woman who sued the Professional Golfers Association about 16 years ago because she was told that she had to wear skirt at work, and the PGA tried to argue that that was a conventional… traditional, conservative, conventional standard of dress, and they failed in that case,” she added.
The British government responds to all petitions that gain more than 10,000 signatures and topics are considered for parliamentary debate if they reach 100,000.