Following our update back in June 2016 in relation to the case of Nicola Thorp and other examples of unlawful dress codes at work, two parliamentary committees have now called for reform to the enforcement of Discrimination Law in Employment. The demands have come from the Petitions Committee and the Women and Equalities Committee, following a petition started by Nicola Thorp that gained 150,000 signatures.
The report highlighted that the Equality Act 2010 should ban sexist dress codes but in reality the law is not being applied properly to protect either gender. Other women have come forward to speak of their experiences which included Employers requesting that female employees wear shorter skirts and unbuttoned shirts whilst some produced dress codes which detailed allowable nail varnish shades and hair colours.
The report recommends a publicity campaign be launched to ensure Employers know their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and Employees know how to complain effectively; Employment Tribunals be given further powers to impose higher financial sanctions; and a Parliamentary review of the law and if necessary amendments to such law. The report is available for review online at: parliament 2015 high heels workplace dress codes inquiry
The Government are yet to formally respond to the report.
However a Government spokesperson commented: "No employer should discriminate against workers on grounds of gender - it is unacceptable and is against the law. Dress codes must be reasonable and include equivalent requirements for both men and women."
If you have been affected by workplace dress codes or know anyone that has, Clapham & Collinge Employment Solicitors are on hand to offer support and legal advice. Call today on 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an enquiry' form. Appointments available at our Norwich, North Walsham, Sheringham and Brooke offices.