MANILA — Majority of establishments in malls in Metro Manila have complied with its order against the compulsory use of high heeled shoes for female employees, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Thursday.
In a report submitted by the DOLE-National Capital Region (NCR) to Secretary Silvestre Bello III, over 2,000 businesses out of the total 2,617 shops they have inspected last weekend have so far acted in accordance with the Department Order (D.O.) 178 allowing the use of comfortable footwear by their workers.
In a statement, the department noted that giving workers the choice whether or not to wear high heels is one of the measures to address the risks of prolonged standing at work.
Last month, the DOLE chief issued D.O.178 directing establishments to allow women workers to wear appropriate and comfortable footwear in the workplace.
The order, which covers employees in retail and service industries; assembly lines; teachers, and security personnel, was issued to address the occupational health and safety concerns related to the wearing of high-heeled shoes for women employees and prolonged standing at work.
It prescribes that the footwear must not pinch the feet or toes and non-slipping. It also provides that the footwear must have adequate cushion and support to the arch of the feet.
Likewise, it set other safety and health measures that the establishments must strictly observe to include provision of sufficient rest breaks for workers, including the presence of accessible seats; installation of appropriate floorings or mats for the workplace, and tables or work surfaces with adjustable heights.
With this, Bello lauded one mall for going beyond complying with the order by providing shoes to its employees.
“Magandang news ‘yung (sa) Fisher Mall. It was found to be compliant. And it went beyond (compliance). And you know why? Bumili sila ng sapatos. Wala nang high heels. Binigay sa mga empleyado nila. (The matter about Fisher Mall is a good news. It was found to be compliant. And it went beyond compliance. And you know why? They bought shoes. No more high heels. They gave the shoes to their employees),” he said in an interview.
The DOLE chief is hoping that other companies will follow Fishermall’s move. (PNA)