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Petition calls for ban on office dress codes that require high heels

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Image: Getty Images/ Cultura RF

LONDON A girl who was sent home from her temp undertaking for not wearing high heels has launched a petition calling for it to be made illegal for a company to necessitate women to wear heels at work.

The petition has already been signed more than 24,000 times, surpassing the 10,000 signature target requirements to get a Government response.

Nicola Thorp from Hackney, London, set up the petition after being sent home without pay from her temp job as a receptionist at a finance company after failing to adhere to outsourcing firm Portico’s dress code.

“It’s still legal in the UK for a company to require female members of staff to wear high heels at work against their will, ” writesThorp in the petition’s description.

“Dress code statutes should be changed so that women have the option to wear flat formal shoes at work, if they wish. Current formal work dress codes are out-dated and sexist, ” she continues.

Under current UK employment law , employees can legally dismiss employees who break an organisation’s dress code if the employees have been given warnings, and enough time to comply with the dress code.

Thorp’s petition has touched a nerve, and many people have taken to social media to condemn the firm’s action.

Speaking to BBC Radio London on Wednesday, Thorp said that when she proved up to her temp job at finance company PwC, she was told she needed to wear shoes with a “2 to 4 inch heel”.

Thorp said that she rejected, and pointed out that male colleagues had not been asked to adhere to the same dress code.

“I said ‘if you can give me a reason as to why dres flats would impair me to do my job today, then fair enough’, but they couldn’t, ” Thorp told BBC Radio London.

“I was expected to do a nine-hour shift on my feet escorting clients to meeting rooms. I said ‘I only won’t be able to do that in heels’, ” she continued.

Thorp says she was chuckled at when she asked if a male employee would be expected to wear heels while carrying out the same job.

Aside from the consolation issues that can come hand in hand with wearing heels for long periods of time, research also suggests that prolonged dres of high heels can weaken your ankles.

A spokesperson for PwC told Mashable that the dress code in question “is not a PwC policy”, and confirmed that they were in discussion with outsourcing firm Portico about the policy.

A spokesperson for Portico did not immediately respond to Mashable ‘s request for comment.

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