A Dressing-Down for Equality Law

Action is needed urgently to improve the efficacy of the Equality Act 2010 with the recent furore over workplace dress codes highlighting the legislation's lack of bite.

Chris Cook & Emma Gross comment in The Times specialist publication The Brief about the urgent action required to improve equality following the most recent high-profile case surrounding gender inequality over workplace dress codes.

A report from two parliamentary committees claimed that laws to combat discrimination were not working. With the prospect of fines for non-compliance on the horizon, it is clear that only robust measures can trigger change.

The committees investigated after a widely publicised incident involving Nicola Thorp last year. She was employed as a temporary receptionist at PwC, one of the "big four" accountancy practices, through an outsourcing agency which required women to wear 2in to 4in heels.

When Ms Thorp arrived at work in flat shoes, she was told she would need to track down an "appropriate" pair of heeled shoes or be sent home without pay. She complained that the dress code was discriminatory since her male colleagues were allowed to wear flat shoes.

Her pained protest struck a chord and an e-petition calling on the government to make it illegal for companies to require women to wear high heels at work went viral.

To read the full article originally published by The Times Legal Briefing, please click here to visit the archive and read the edition dated 30th January 2017.

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If you would like more information or advice relating to this article or an Employment law matter, please do not hesitate to contact Chris Cook on 01727 798098.