Almost one in ten women in the UK have been told by their managers that they prefer them to wear high heels in the office because it makes them more appealing, with women also reporting that they are told to put on more makeup on a regular basis.
This is according to new research from law firm Slater & Gordon, which found that 19 per cent of women say they feel more attention is paid to their appearance by their managers than their male counterparts experience.
Interestingly, it’s not just women who have noticed that this goes on, with 48 per cent of men also saying that they feel their dress codes are defined more clearly and other colleagues are less likely to make comments about their appearance to them than to female members of staff.
“The current position on dress codes under UK employment law is relatively clear: an employer is allowed to impose a dress code on its employees. But usually this will be put in place for health and safety reasons, or to promote a particular image, for example, of smartness and efficiency,” employment lawyer with the firm Josephine Van Lierop said.
This comes as Acas publishes a new report into dress codes and appearance at work relating to tattoos and body piercings, as well as high heels and religious dress. Employers are advised to write down the dress codes in a policy that is then communicated to all staff members so they know what standards are expected of them.
It went on to note, however, that some employers are now starting to reconsider the strict no tattoo policies they have previously enforced following media reports and online petitions.