HR Strange But True

You’re No Posh Spice; Go Home and Change Your Shoes!

It was recently reported that Victoria Beckham, AKA Posh Spice, has turned in her heels for the more comfortable option of flats, while on the job. Beckham told The Telegraph, that “I just can’t do heels anymore, especially when I’m working,” adding that “I travel a lot. I have to be comfortable.”  Every working girl can relate to this!

One woman in London, however, was sent home from work after she refused to wear heels. Apparently, not every employer is as fashion-forward as Victoria Beckham! The 27-year old temp worker was told she’d have to wear “2-inch to 4-inch” high heels to work every day at the finance company, PwC. Portico, the temp agency for which she worked, issued the high-heeled shoe policy because it is “common practice within the service sector to have appearance guidelines.

The temp worker told BBC Radio, “I said, ‘If you can give me a reason as to why wearing flats would impair me to do my job today, then fair enough,’ but they couldn’t.” The woman’s job required her to escort clients to meeting rooms for 9 hours a day. She added, “I just won’t be able to do that in heels.”

In the United States, there is no federal law governing employee dress codes. The BBC has reported that in London, “employers can dismiss staff who fail to live up to ‘reasonable’ dress code demands, as long as they’ve been given enough time to buy the right shoes and clothes.” The PwC temp worker was told, back in December, that she would need to buy a pair of heels for her first day; she had plenty of time to comply!

A representative of the woman’s temp agency was quoted as saying, “These policies ensure customer-facing staff are consistently well presented and positively represent a client’s brand and image.” The representative added, that the firm had “taken on board the comments regarding footwear and will be reviewing our guidelines.” The temp worker has added, “Aside from the debilitating factor, it’s the sexism issue. I think companies shouldn’t be forcing that on their female employees.” With the summer quickly approaching, it may be time to review your dress code policies!

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