Sheffield MP Says Daughter 'Forced to Wear High Heels' Broke Foot

6 March 2017, 19:01

Woman holding up a high heeled shoe

An MP has told how her daughter suffered a fractured foot after she was forced to wear high heels at work.

Gill Furniss said her daughter was denied sick pay or compensation after suffering a metatarsal fracture, the same injury that threatened to put David Beckham out of the 2002 World Cup.

She hit out at employers who force women to have to put up with "humiliating and degrading'' dress codes. She said some women are told they must wear a "full face'' of make-up and are "even told which shade of red'' to wear on their lips.

Speaking during a debate in Parliament on workplace dress codes, the Labour MP (Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough) said: "We know that in some professions, standing in high heels for a period of an eight-hour shift is the norm.

"Wearing heels in this way often causes foot pain, bunions, skin lesions, lower limb pathology and other related discomforts for the heel-wearer.

"In fact, my own daughter suffered from a metatarsal fracture, which is more commonly affiliated with sports injuries, when she was forced to wear high heels in a former retail job.

"Quite literally adding insult to injury, she was denied any compensation or sick pay as she wasn't on the payroll for long enough.

"Needless to say, she did not return to this type of work, but not everyone has that choice.''

The debate, in Westminster Hall, comes after more than 150,000 people signed an e-petition calling on ministers to outlaw discriminatory workplace dress codes.

London receptionist Nicola Thorp launched the petition after she was sent home from work when she refused to wear high heels.

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