Workplace Dress Codes (High Heels) — [Mr David Hanson in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:30 pm on 6th March 2017.

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Photo of Helen Jones Helen Jones Chair, Petitions Committee 4:30 pm, 6th March 2017

Yes, I could not agree more; the hon. Gentleman is right about that issue. We also say that if the existing law is not shown to be working, the Government need to take action to clarify the law.

As I said, we thought at the beginning that this would be a short inquiry, but it has exposed a number of issues in the workplace: widespread discrimination against women; stereotypical views of what women should look like, dress like and behave like; outdated attitudes towards women in the workplace; and the constant belittling of women when they try to challenge those attitudes. The conclusion that I have come to is that we have a long way to go to solve these problems but I hope that the Government will take them seriously, because women in the workplace deserve—everyone in the workplace deserves—better than that stereotyping, better than the pain and inappropriate clothing that they are forced to put up with, and better than the attitudes that women encounter every day.

I think, as a Member of Parliament, that we have undergone a long struggle for women to be accepted in this place, but our life is a bed of roses compared with that of women in low-paid and insecure employment and what they have to put up with every day to keep their jobs. I hope that the Minister sees that this is not a trivial issue but a very serious one that affects women every day at work. The Government must now take it seriously.