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DoLE bans ‘high heels’ in workplace

By: Samuel Medenilla

Employees could soon say goodbye to being forced to wear “high-heeled” shoes to work.

In a press conference yesterday, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) finally issued a new order, which will prohibit employers from requiring their employees to wear footwear with heels over 1 inch.

“I thought of coming up with the order…since I really feel sorry for our lady employees,” Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

Labor undersecretary Dominador Say said the new order will also require companies to give rest periods to workers, who are required to stand beyond two hours for their work “so long as it will not have any detrimental effect on their productivity.”

“We will be addressing this by requiring employers to provide short breaks to their employees,” Say said.

Say said they might decide to include sanctions in their new order if there will few companies, which will comply with its provisions.

“We will give establishments as much lee way to voluntarily comply without fear of penalty…if there will be low compliance that is the only time we will impose penalties,” Say said.

He said the order is based from the study conducted by the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) and the Occupational Safety Health Center (OHSC).

Bureau of Working Condition (BWC) director Ma. Teresita Cucueco said the prolonged wearing of high-heeled shoes and standing could cause various health problems to workers ranging from joint pain to arthritis.

“With prolonged burden in the joints, it could cause some problems in the spine, in the lower leg, and if this is not properly corrected you can have arthritis and other debilitating muscular-skeletal disorder,” Cucueco said.