Call to end workplace discrimination

Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley has welcomed a report calling for new legislation to help tackle discrimination and stop women facing demands to wear high heels, make-up or revealing outfits at work.

The Women and Equalities and Petitions Select Committee inquiry High Heels and Workplace Dresscodes was launched after Nicola Thorp was sent home from work in December 2015 as a temporary receptionist at PwC’s offices in Embankment, London, because she refused to buy a pair of high heels with at least a two inch heel.

The incident led Ms Thorp to set up a public petition calling for a law to stop companies from requiring women to wear high heels at work which attracted 152,420 signatures.

The Committee report calls for a new legal framework to stop women being sent home without pay for refusing to comply with discriminatory and gender-specific dress codes.

Angela Crawley MP, who sits on the Women and Equalities Committee, said:

“It is completely wrong for an employer to expect women to wear high heels, make-up or revealing outfits in the workplace while not placing the same sort of demands on their male colleagues – but sadly this type of ingrained workplace sexism continues to prevail.

“We heard evidence from women all over the country that these gender-specific dress codes make them feel sexualised and uncomfortable at work which is not how anyone should be made to feel in their place of work.

“I will use every opportunity to speak up for gender equality – by working to end austerity and striving for equal pay, as well as increasing jobs to end the barriers that still block the aspirations of too many women in Scotland and across the UK.

“We must now see action from the UK government to bring in this legal framework and show they are serious about ending gender discrimination in the workplace.”

Find the full report HERE