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Can the company force me to wear heels and skirts? It depends

| News | Employment Law and Social Security

Alfredo Aspra analyzes the dress code that is part of the right to entrepreneurial freedom

A few days ago, a Russian metallurgical company announced that it was going to inaugurate a "marathon of femininity" with the aim of "cheering up" its staff, made up of 70% male workers. Specifically, the company offered a bonus of 1.35 euros a day to employees who wore skirts or dresses to go to work, as well as to those who applied "discreet makeup". This initiative contrasts with a campaign that is gaining strength in Japan: the #KuToo revolution. In homage to the famous #MeToo movement and playing with the Japanese words kutsu (shoe) and kutsuu (pain), its promoters demand a law that prohibits companies from requiring women to wear heels in the workplace. "It's sex discrimination and it's harassment," her ideologist proclaims.

Beyond the discrimination that usually hides behind this type of episode, the truth is that establishing a code on clothing for employees is part of the right to entrepreneurial freedom enshrined in article 38 of the Spanish Constitution. This precept legitimises companies to establish uniform criteria in order to project a certain image. However, they must exercise this power with caution, since, if they exceed certain limits, they could violate the fundamental rights of workers, such as the right to one's own image, non-discrimination or occupational health and safety.

Alfredo Aspra, partner of Andersen Tax & Legal's employment department, states that beyond controlling that the uniform does not violate the fundamental rights of the employee, the company must ensure that the requirements comply with the safety and prevention of occupational risks codes and also make an assessment of the risks that may arise from the post and implement safety measures in the precise work clothes, since, not only is a question of providing quality service to the customer, but also to protect the health of workers.

You can read the complete article in El País.

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