The Daily Manila Shimbun


DOLE says no heels more than one inch high for female workers

August 25, 2017

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Friday released a Department Order prohibiting female workers to wear shoes with heels beyond one inch high.

"In summary, this DO provides that female employees will not be obligated to wear high-heeled shoes," said Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say in a press briefing.

He said heels one inch or less will still be allowed as many still prefer to have a little heel in their footwear.

"But the heels we shall allow will not be stiletto types but the wedge types," said Say.

Say said the labor department will also be requiring employers to allow workers not to stand for a long period of time.

Say said the labor department wants male and female workers to have the chance to go on break by being able to sit down and rest their legs.

"We are not just looking in the context of department store employees. The scope of this department order is for all employees. Even if you are a teacher, since you need to stand up for an hour while teaching. Or you might be a worker in an assembly line, where you stand for a long time," said Say.

He said the definition of jobs that require workers to stand for a long time are those that go for at least two hours without seating.

"When we say standing, it is at least 2 hours they are required to just stand," said Say.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said it is about time that the government does something to help address working conditions of workers in specific industries.

He said he sees challenges faced by female workers when he goes to department stores.

"I notice that many of the sales girls are leaning, crossing their legs. That only means they have a feeling of inconvenience or they are uncomfortable with the standing position," saidBello.

According to Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) Director Ma. Teresita Cucueco, wearing high heels and standing too long can have short- and long-term adverse effects to workers.

"Once it is prolonged and it is in one position and it is more than two hours, it is going to give pain in the back and in the legs. It will start creating all of this symptoms of pain," she pointed.

"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," added Cucueco.

Say said the DO will be presented to the Tripartite Industrial Peace Council as required by law. DMS