Days of high heels in offices over
Sales ladies, hotel and restaurant receptionists as well as flight attendants have something to cheer about.
The days of being compelled to wear high heels and to stand for hours are over. In addition, they will get sitting breaks.
The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) has issued an order discouraging the mandatory use of high-heeled footwear among women in the office.
The order takes effect Monday, Sept. 11.
Issued by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Department Order No. 178 dated Aug. 25 outlines the “Safety and Health Measures for Workers who by the Nature of their Work Have to Stand at Work.”
“Women, such as sales ladies and lady guards, should not be compelled to wear high-heeled shoes in the workplace, nor be deprived of a short span of sitting breaks to prevent health risks,” Dole said.
The new policy also covers promodizers in supermarkets, waitresses, hotel and restaurant receptionists and flight attendants, including those on the production line in the manufacturing of food and electronics, said the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines.
The order provides the workers with 15-minute sitting breaks every two hours of work rendered.
Those found violating the regulation will be fined or suspended, while recidivist violators will be fined and shut down.
Business establishments are required to implement the use of practical and comfortable footwear instead of high-heeled shoes.
These are the types of footwear that do not pinch the feet or toes; well-fitted and nonslipping; provide adequate cushion and support to the arch of the feet; flat or low heels, which are not higher than one inch and must be wide-based or wedge type.
The Dole also required employers to install appropriate flooring or mats made of wood or rubber to mitigate the impact of frequent walking or prolonged standing.
“We require establishments to provide short breaks for sales ladies. They should have time to flex or rest their feet to eliminate fatigue or stress. They should be provided with comfortable seats,” Bello said.
Dole regional offices will monitor the proper and strict implementation of the order.
The Bureau of Working Conditions director, Teresita Cucueco, pointed out that there were health issues that crop up during prolonged standing, particularly while wearing high-heeled shoes in the workplace.
“It can cause some problems in the spine, in the lower legs, and in the end, if this is not properly corrected, one can have arthritis and other related musculoskeletal disorders,” Cucueco said.
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