Thursday, September 28, 2017

How Do You Spell Relief?! (No More High Heels at Work)

It is a piece of very welcome news that women workers can no longer be required to wear high heels by their employers. It is indeed difficult to wear high heels in a work environment where you need to stand for hours or walk around the office to do several errands a day. If your work or profession requires you to stand most of the time,  being required to wear high heels as part of the uniform is like being punished without you committing a crime. I do not want to exaggerate, but try to ask our female salespersons in stores and lady guards who need to stand for the longest time on how high heels can be excruciatingly painful and how it results in unwanted varicose veins. There is also a scientific study on the harmful effects of wearing high heels to the body.

3 Top Harmful Effects of Wearing High Heels - Joint Essential

The issuance of Department Order No. 178-17 by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) banning the mandatory wearing of high heels at the workplace is a long time coming reform for the benefit of our countless women workers. Imagine standing up for eight hours or more on high heels while just getting paid the minimum wage per day. I have seen several women workers who are off to work wearing another pair of shoes while commuting and thereafter change into the required high heels upon arriving at the office or department store. In this time where "health and convenience" are considered to be a priority, requiring women to wear high heels is unreasonable.

Aside from prohibiting the mandatory wearing of high heels at work, the Department Order also directs employers to institute measures relative to the risk to safety and health of workers while standing or frequently walking at work such as (1) giving breaks or rest periods; (2) installation of flooring or mats; (4) providing work tables; (5) providing seats during rest periods or even during working hours and (6) use of footwear which is practical and comfortable.

This piece of legislation is worth our thanks. I just hope that the government will aggressively monitor its compliance by employers to ensure the health and well-being of women workers.

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