Have you ever noticed, in some malls that you go to, that the salesladies always wore high heels? Each time I noticed that, I would wonder how they ever got through the day. I know how my feet would hurt a lot in high heels during my corporate days.
Good news for them! The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello signed last August 25, 2017 Department Order (DO) 178 prohibiting employers from requiring their female employees to wear shoes with heels higher than one inch. In addition, if the shoes are an inch high, they should be wedge-type shoes.
The DO further mandates sitting breaks for the employees who are required to stand for more than two hours as part of their work. These would include cashiers, salesladies, and anyone else who needs to stand most of the day.
Here is the DOLE department order.
The DO took effect last September 11 — 15 days after publication in a major newspaper. DOLE will also need to iron out details with employers on implementing this DO.
This is one move of government that I truly welcome because this practice of having women wear high heeled shoes all day has been there for many years.
What many employers do not appreciate is this: High heels are NOT HEALTHY for the body! It is an occupational hazard!
Employers are more concerned about the aesthetics of seeing salesladies in heels. A Google search found that there have been instances, in different countries, where women were sent home (worse, some were fired) for not wearing heels. I think employers do not realize that this practice is probably costing them so much more in terms of increased sick leave and medical claims. Even worse, the negative health impact on women is long-term and possibly permanent.
Moves to prevent employers from requiring the wearing of high heeled shoes is not unique to the Philippines. The provincial government in British Columbia, Canada has already amended its workplace legislation to prevent employers from forcing their female employees to wear high heels. Labor unions and organized groups in different countries have, for years now, been petitioning for high heels not to be a mandatory requirement for employment.
I searched online for articles on the ill effects of prolonged wearing of high heeled shoes and posted it on my yoga blog.