Tribunal penalties for discrimination caused by workplace dress codes should increase says Commons Committee

Recommendations made in an inquiry report from the Petitions and Women & Equality Committees

The penalties available to Employment Tribunals in discrimination cases involving workplace dress are failing as a deterrent and should be increased. This is just one of the conclusion set out in a report by the Petitions and Women & Equality Committees of the House of Commons.

The Committees instigated the inquiry after 150,000 people signed a petition calling for it to be illegal for a company to require its female staff to wear high heels at work. During the course of the inquiry 'hundreds of women' told them about

the pain and long-term damage caused by wearing high heels for long periods in the workplace, as well as from women who had been required to dye their hair blonde, to wear revealing outfits and to constantly reapply make-up.

To tackle this problem the report recommends, in broad terms, that the Government should

* review this area of the law and to ask Parliament to amend it, if necessary, to make it more effective; * initiate a detailed guidance and awareness campaign targeted at employers, workers and students and * provide more effective remedies for employment tribunals to award against employers who breach the law. Specific recommendations on this front include

- 'substantially' increasing the financial penalties for employers found by employment tribunals to have breached the law such that employees are not deterred from bringing claims but employers are deterred from breach and

The full report can be found on the House of Commons website.

Published: 26/01/2017 10:50

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