Receptionist ‘sent home without pay for refusing to wear high heels’

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Nicola Thorp also claims she was told to wear make-up and given a colour chart of “acceptable shades”A young actress claims she was sent home from a corporate receptionist job in central London without pay after refusing to wear high heels.Nicola Thorp has launched a petition after she says she was sent home from a temping job for not wearing heels
A receptionist working at accountancy firm PwC claims she was sent home for refusing to wear high heels.

Nicola Thorp was working at Price water house Coopers in London when she claims a supervisor told her she must hear heels measuring 2in to 4in when she was at the office.

When she said it was discrimination against women as men were allowed to wear flats, she says she was "laughed at".

The 27-year-old actor was picking up temp work with PwC's outsourced reception firm Portico when the alleged incident occurred on Monday.PwC says the dress code was not its policy, but came from a Portico supervisor, reports the Standard.According to Thorp, who lives in Hackney, she was sent home without pay from the receptionist role when she refused to go shopping for heels.

She also claims she was told to wear make-up and given a colour chart of “acceptable shades”.“When I arrived on site, I was turned away from work because I was not wearing high heels.

“The supervisor told me that I would be sent home without pay unless I went to the shop and bought a pair of two to four inch heels. I refused and was sent home," she said.

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The Blackpool native took the job as she is between acting roles.

An employment rights helpline told Thorp employers are within their rights to impose a formal dress code, she adds.

The petition she has started reads: "It's still legal in the UK for a company to require female members of staff to wear high heels at work against their will.

"Dress code laws should be changed so that women have the option to wear flat formal shoes at work, if they wish. Current formal work dress codes are out-dated and sexist ."

So far more than 7,000 people have signed it online to support Thorp's motion.

A spokeswoman for PwC told the Standard: “PwC outsources its front of house/reception services to a third party supplier. We first became aware of this matter on May 10 some five months after the issue arose.

"The dress code referenced in the article is not a PwC policy. We are now in discussion with the suppliers about the policy."
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Portico managing director Simon Pratt said in a statement: “We can confirm that the individual in question did report to work for Portico with inappropriate footwear on December 7, 2015, having previously signed the appearance guidelines.

"Upon arrival, they were advised by Portico that they would need to be dressed in accordance with the guidelines to complete their shift and were offered the opportunity to source alternative shoes. Having declined said opportunity, the individual chose to return home and not complete the shift."

“It is common practice within the service sector to have appearance guidelines and Portico operates them across many of our corporate locations.

"These policies ensure customer-facing staff are consistently well presented and positively represent a client’s brand and image.

"They include recommendations for appropriate style of footwear for the role. We have taken on board the comments regarding footwear and will be reviewing our guidelines.”

This week has also seen a waitress' image of painful feet go viral after she hit out at staff being made to wear heels on a service shift.

Mirror Uk


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