A petition to ban firms from forcing women to wear heels has been rejected

The government has said no to a call to make it illegal for businesses to tell women they must wear high heels at work.

Nicola Thorp, the receptionist who was famously sent home from work when she refused to wear heels, started a petition the UK government to make it illegal.

Thorp’s petition read: “It’s still legal in the UK for a company to require female members of staff to wear high heels at work against their will.

“Dress code laws should be changed so that women have the option to wear flat formal shoes at work, if they wish. Current formal work dress codes are out-dated and sexist.”

The petition, which was open for six months, drew 152,420 signatures and the issue was ultimately debated in parliament at the beginning of March.

However, the government has rejected calls to make it illegal for companies to force women to wear heels, saying that there are already laws protecting women at work. Instead, the Equalities Office will introduce guidelines for workplace dress codes.

In a statement, the government said:

Company dress codes must be reasonable and must make equivalent requirements for men and women. This is the law and employers must abide by it.

Read more: Let’s not make feminist idols of women who won’t wear high heels at work

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