Petitioner discusses high heels and workplace dress codes

23 June 2016

MPs on the Petitions and Women and Equalities Committees hear from Nicola Thorp, who started a petition asking for the law to be changed after she was sent home from work for refusing to wear high heels. Emma Birkett and Ruth Campion also get the chance to share their experiences in more detail after they contributed to a web forum on the Parliament website. MPs then hear from Ms Thorp's former employer, Portico and representatives from the Institute of Recruiters and the TUC.


Tuesday 28 June 2016, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

At 2.15pm

  • Nicola Thorp, petition creator
  • Emma Birkett, member of the public/ web forum contributor
  • Ruth Campion, member of the public/ web forum contributor

At 3pm

  • Simon Pratt, Managing Director, Portico
  • Scarlet Harris, Women's Equality Officer, TUC
  • Azmat Mohammed, Director General, Institute of Recruiters

This is a joint session of the House of Commons Petitions and Women and Equalities Committees. Both Committees are cross-party and independent from Government.

Purpose of the session

The purpose of the first panel is to learn in more detail how people are being affected. MPs have already heard from over 700 people who shared their experiences on a web forum which was opened on the Parliament website. 

The purpose of the second panel is to hear the views of employers on how they interpret the current law and how they are affected by this issue.

About the inquiry

The aim of the inquiry is to gain a clear understanding of what the current law says about this issue and how it is affecting people in the UK.

Committee inquiries can, but do not always, lead to reports that make specific recommendations to the Government.

Why is this petition being investigated

The petition reached the number of signatures for the Petitions Committee to consider scheduling a debate in Parliament. The Committee however also has the power to investigate petitions when it thinks that the issue requires more detailed examination.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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