MPs to debate workplace dress code policies after high heels row

A bid to make it illegal for companies to require women to wear high heels at work will be debated by MPs, the Government has said.

It comes after an e-petition called on ministers to outlaw "out-dated and sexist" dress code rules so that women can wear flat, formal shoes if they choose.

The petition, which has attracted more than 150,000 signatures, was launched by receptionist Nicola Thorp who was sent home from work after refusing to wear high heels.

Ms Thorp, 27, was told she had to wear shoes with a "2in to 4in heel" when she arrived at finance company PwC. When she refused and complained male colleagues were not asked to do the same, she was sent home without pay.

Nicola Thorp was told high heels were part of the company's dress code. Credit: ITV News

Commons Leader David Lidington confirmed the debate will take place in Westminster Hall on March 6.

Some 152,000 people backed Ms Thorp's call and the petition prompted the Petitions Committee and Women and Equalities Committee to conduct a joint review of workplace dress codes.

The report found examples of female employees being told to dye their hair blonde, wear revealing outfits and to constantly reapply make-up.

The Government has already responded to the petition and said in a statement: "Company dress codes must be reasonable and must make equivalent requirements for men and women.

"This is the law and employers must abide by it."