I couldn't agree with this more if I tried - why is it that employers are still getting away with this? It seems that in this case, as the report suggests, the law favours employers and fails employees . I'm not going to get into a rant about the sexualisation of women because I don't think I need to (will try not to).
I think that a woman can look perfectly smart enough in low heels or flat shoes in a corporate environment. It does not and should not affect her ability to perform in her role and if a woman does find that she does better with heels on compared to days where she wears flats, you don't have to look very far to figure out why that might be.
I can't help but have a huge problem with firms imposing highly specific dress codes such as this one, and more shockingly, sending women home without pay because they don't adhere to a dress code that stipulates heel height. I do think that in some workplaces the women are guilty of over-sexualising themselves because they believe that they won't find success on their own merit. I think it's sad that some women have been lead to believe that sex = success in the workplace and whether you're aware of this being a 'thing' or not, it is in some organisations and we need help from the law to encourage attitudes to change.
According to this report on BBC News, the committee looking into the issue in question also heard about demands that some women should dye their hair blonde, wear revealing clothes and re-apply their make up frequently throughout the day. SOD THAT! Let a woman be who she wants, how she wants. If that's what she likes to do, then great. But to impose these rules as part of a dress code is sexual discrimination to the nth degree. Why not ask men to apply and re-apply makeup throughout the day? Why not ask men to wear painful shoes that they can barely walk in for 12 hours, maybe longer?
"The Equality Act is clear in principle in setting out what constitutes discrimination in law," it said.
"Nevertheless, discriminatory dress codes remain commonplace in some sectors of the economy. "We call on the government to review this area of the law and to ask parliament to change it, if necessary, to make it more effective," the MPs added.
Why is this even still an issue?
The government must enforce the law properly to ban sexist dress rules at work that discriminate against women, say MPs. The demand has come from two parliamentary committees, for Petitions and for Women and Equalities. Their report follows the experience of London receptionist Nicola Thorp, who was sent home from work in December 2015 for not wearing high heels. Her parliamentary petition on the issue gained more than 150,000 signatures. The joint report of the two committees, entitled High Heels and Workplace Dress Codes, found that the Equality Act 2010 should ban discriminatory dress rules at work, but in practice the law is not applied properly to protect workers of either gender.