DOLE urged to ban mandatory wearing of ‘high heels’ at workplace

MANILA-- A labor group has urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to draft a regulation to stop employers in the country from requiring women employees to wear high heel shoes at work as it poses danger to their safety and health.

Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) national executive vice president General Seno made the appeal after receiving complaints from employees particularly sales attendants working in department and malls who are enduring pain for long hours while performing their jobs.

We received many persistent complaints from salesladies working in department stores and malls that they are in pain walking and standing for long hours performing their jobs in high heel shoes. They also worry that it might have long-term damaged on them," he said in a statement.

"This is a grave concern to their health and safety and so we are asking the DOLE to prohibit employers from requiring their employees to wear high heel shoes in doing their work, added Seno.

The ALU-TUCP official noted that DOLE's future prohibition policy should cover not only salesladies but promodizers in supermarkets, waitresses, hotel and restaurant receptionists and flight attendants as well.

Apart from the pain, working women also complain of injury after slipping, falling and tripping with high heel shoes on. This must be stopped. Women workers should not be compelled to put on high heel shoes against their will. They should not be exposed to any harm and danger at all times, he said.

The government has no existing regulation that govern the wearing of high-heel shoes in the workplace and gave the discretion to employers. Thus, women working under the company policy have choice but to comply and endure the agony for long periods.

For fear of censure from supervisors and lack of genuine grievance mechanism in the workplace amid numerous anecdotal accidents involving high high shoes, women in the circumstances are powerless--most of which are contractualized workers and have no union to represent them. They just endure the pain for the entire duration of their shift and have no choice but to comply with company policy for the entire duration of their contracts against their will, Seno added.

Likewise, the group asked the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to create a regulation outlawing schools from requiring female students to wear high heel shoes particularly those taking up hospitality and guest relations courses and training.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom found out that high-heeled wearing skeletally immature adolescents are most likely to suffer postural disorders affecting head positioning, the back, pelvis and knee.

Source: Philippine News Agency