MANILA - Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has signed a Department Order that prohibits employers from forcing their workers to wear high heels.
The order will be scheduled for publishing soon and will be effective 15 days after publication.
Bello said the order was issued to address long-standing concerns from mall workers, particularly sales ladies who are required to wear high heels while working for 8 hours or more.
However, the department order will not only cover malls since it will be required and implemented across all industries.
"Matagal na itong complaint, hindi lang nabibigyan ng pansin," Bello said.
According to the order, no worker will be forced to wear shoes with heels more then 1 inch in height. Only 1-inch shoes that are wedge types are also allowed.
Employers will also be asked to give employees 15-minutes breaks after 2 hours of standing.
According to the Bureau of Working Conditions, the pain caused by prolonged standing while wearing high-heeled shoes may cause long term health problems and debilitating conditions such as arthritis.
The department order was signed before a tripartite meeting to consult stakeholders like employers, but Bello said they may still amend it depending on the result of the tripartite meeting.
The Department of Labor and Employment will also study the health hazards of working for industries that require workers to sit for long periods of time like in Business Process Outsourcing companies and will issue the necessary regulations.