Alberta Government Banning Mandatory High Heels in the Workplace

Labour Minister Christina Gray says she's heard from many Alberta women in the hospitality industry that this change needs to happen, noting it's clear that forcing women to wear high heels at work is a bad idea.

Changes to the province's Occupational Health and Safety Code aim to protect the right of Alberta workers to wear shoes that put safety over style.

The Alberta government is banning mandatory high heels in the workplace.

Labour Minister Christina Gray says she's heard from many Alberta women in the hospitality industry that this change needs to happen, noting 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.”

Prolonged high heel use is associated with workplace trips, slips, falls, painful foot conditions and skeletal and muscular injuries.

The change, effective January 1st, will provide clarity and prohibit employers from requiring servers and bartending staff to wear high heels.

Quick Facts

  • The online survey used for the 2017 OHS system review indicates employers (78 per cent), workers (88 per cent) and health and safety professionals (82 per cent) favour changes that prevent clothing or footwear policies from creating a hazard to workers.
  • In 2017, Ontario and B.C. passed laws banning mandatory footwear policies that potentially create hazards for workers. In 2018, Manitoba passed a similar law.

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