DOLE: Female employees not required to wear high heels to work

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 25) — A new law says female employees are no longer required to wear high heels to work.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello signed a department order Friday, prohibiting employers to require female workers to wear high-heeled shoes taller than an inch.

Under the department order, shoes taller than an inch may be worn, provided they have a wide wedge.

The DO also mandates companies to grant sitting breaks to employees who are required to stand for more than two hours in their line of work. This means seats shall be ready for employees in case they need rest.

Bello said the order aims to lessen exhaustion among employees.

"Napapansin ko yung mga salesgirls na nakasandal sila, which means na pagod. And kung tingnan mo 'yung mga paa nila, naka-cross, naka-ganoon, parang naka-dekwatro, which means merong feeling of inconvenience, uncomfortable sila sa kanilang standing position," Bello said.

[Translation: I noticed that the salesgirls are slouched, which means they're tired. And if you look at their legs, they're sitting with their legs crossed, which means there's a feeling of inconvenience, they're uncomfortable with their standing position.]

"Matagal na itong complaint eh, even before I joined Labor. Parang di lang nabigyan ng pansin, parang binalewala," he added.

[Translation: We've had this complaint way before, even before I joined Labor. It's like no one paid attention, or it was taken for granted.]

But Bello clarified they will still have a tripartite meeting with companies and worker groups to iron out the details of the new order.

"Kung may mga [If there are] comments that we will find useful to the order, we could amend the order," he said.

The DO takes effect 15 days after its publication in a major newspaper.