The Petitions Committee and the Women and Equalities Committee have published a joint report, High heels and workplace dress codes, in the wake of a petition signed by more than 150,000 people calling for it to be illegal for employers to require female staff to wear high heels at work. The government's position is that such a practice is already unlawful.
The report concludes that being required to wear high heels is damaging to female workers' health and well-being, and that certain other dress code requirements make some female workers feel uncomfortable and sexualised by their employer. The report makes recommendations in three main areas: that the government should review this area of the law; that more effective remedies should be available against employers who breach the law, including injunctions against potentially discriminatory dress codes; and that detailed guidance and awareness campaigns targeted at employers and workers should be developed. In particular, the existing ACAS guidance on dress codes was criticised in evidence and the report recommends that the Government Equalities Offices works with ACAS and the Health and Safety Executive to publish updated guidance by July 2017.