U.K. Parliament Will Change Laws Related to Women Wearing Heels in the Workplace

More than two years after U.K. native Nicola Thorp was sent home from her receptionist job at PwC because she wasn’t wearing heels, U.K. Parliament members released a report on Wednesday that found the outsourcing company that placed her in that job had broken the law. Additionally, the report says the existing laws in place will be tightened to prevent sexist codes in the workplace.

The outsourcing company Portico told Thorp that she must wear heels between two and four inches, and she was subsequently sent home when she refused. A few months later, Thorp started a petition to change these practices, later becoming the center of a debate at the Trade Unions Congress in Brighton, England, in September. There, a vote was passed to change a law so women are no longer compelled to wear heels at work.

Some delegates at that conference called on U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, a well-known fan of kitten heels, to lead the way on this change for women in the workplace.

While there is already a law in place against workplace discrimination, the Equality Act 2010, the report released by two parliament committees says that more must be done in increasing penalties against employers that are not in compliance, and that the current penalties “are not sufficient deterrent to breaking the law.”

Nicola Thorp Heels Parliament
Nicola Thorp on “Good Morning Britain” showing the black flats that got her fired from a receptionist job.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock

This week, Thorp appeared on the U.K. morning show “Good Morning Britain,” where she discussed the topic with hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid. Thorp said she was required to wear heels for nine hours a day while she escorted clients around the office. Morgan argued that if men or women in client-facing roles at the company were required to wear suits, then it might be fair for women to have to wear heels.

See Thorp’s full segment below.

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