by Morinville News Staff
Steel toes are in – high heels are out after the Government of Alberta announced amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code announced Friday. The changes will prohibit employers from requiring workers to use footwear that may pose health and safety risks.
“I have heard from many Alberta women in the hospitality industry that this change needs to happen,” said Minister of Labour Christina Gray in a release Friday. “It’s clear that forcing women to wear high heels at work is a bad idea. This is an important change that will help create healthy work environments where workers can do their jobs safely and not be forced to use footwear that creates potential hazards.”
The government says the change prohibits employers from requiring servers and bartending staff to wear high heels and argues that prolonged high heel use leads to workplace trips, slips, falls, as well as medical concerns, including foot conditions and skeletal and muscular injuries.
The new rule does not apply to mandatory footwear for safety reasons, including steel-toed footwear required on construction sites.
The change takes effect Jan. 1, 2019. Ontario and B.C. both passed laws banning mandatory footwear policies in 2017, and Manitoba passed a similar law earlier this year.