British Columbia amends workplace act saying high heels are a threat to employee health and safety
‘When you think about dress and physical appearance, women face higher standards in a lot of cases than men.’ Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA
The provincial government in British Columbia, Canada, has amended workplace legislation to prevent employers to force women to wear high heels at work.
BC Green party leader Andrew Weaver filed a private member’s bill in March “designed to prevent employers from setting varying footwear and other requirements based on gender, gender expression or gender identity”.
Rather than adopting Weaver’s bill, the BC government instead amended footwear rules under the province’s 1996 Workers Compensation Act, which did not mention high heels.
“In some workplaces in our province, women are required to wear high heels on the job. Like most British Columbians, our government thinks this is wrong. That is why we’re changing this regulation to stop this unsafe and discriminatory practice,” said BC premier Christy Clark.
A mandatory high-heel dress code “is a workplace health and safety issue,” she said. “There is a risk of physical injury from slipping or falling, as well as possible damage to the feet, legs and back from prolonged wearing of high heels while at work.”
The minister for labour, Shirley Bond, acknowledged Weaver for starting the process. “I’d like to recognize and thank Dr Weaver … This change will let employers know that the most critical part of an employee’s footwear is that it is safe. I expect employers to recognize this very clear signal that forcing someone to wear high heels at work is unacceptable.”
Amendments to the compensation act will “ensure that workplace footwear is of a design, construction and material that allows the worker to safely perform their work and ensures that employers cannot require footwear contrary to this standard”.
Source By https://www.theguardian.com