In August 2009 there was a proposal put forward by the predominantly male Trade Union Congress arguing that high heels are demeaning to women while they also contribute to long term injuries.
They proposed instead that women should wear “sensible shoes” with an inch heel limit in an attempt to avoid future foot and back pain as well as injuries. The motion, tabled by the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, states: “Congress believes high heels may look glamorous on the Hollywood catwalks but are completely inappropriate for the day-today working environment”.
“Feet bear the brunt of daily life, and for many workers prolonged standing, badly fitted footwear, and in particular high heels can be a hazard. Around two million days a year are lost through sickness as a result of lower limb disorders. Wearing high heels can cause long-term foot problems, such as blisters, corns and calluses, and also serious foot, knee and back pain and damaged joints”.
In response; Michelle Dewberry, a former winner of The Apprentice, said the motion was patronising.”I’m at work in five-inch heels and perfectly able to do my job. Heels are sexy, they boost your confidence and they are empowering to women. I can’t imagine these officials debating a motion about how tightly men should wear their ties. Wearing heels is a personal choice.”
What about if you had an accident? We’ve a statement from Lee McLlwaine of Lee Solicitors…”It is actually the employer’s duty to assess risks and provide where necessary appropriate footwear. Please read the Health and Safety at Works Act 1974 www.hse.gov.uk/legislation/hswa.atm and Management of Health and Safety at Works Regulations 1999. www.opsi.gov.uk.
Mmm.. These both seem to put the choice and responsibility with the employer?