Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Window Dressing

re-post

You may have noticed that retail staff often remove their shoes before setting up displays in shop windows.

The managers of their shops obviously fear the appearance of scuff marks on the shiny window ledges.

If you have a wood or vinyl floor, do you care about it as much as the managers of these shops care about the window ledges of their shops? Shoes can so easily cause scratches or leave marks on your floor. Especially if people get stones or other sharp stuff stuck on the sole.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've often noticed that too, what I've wondered though is whether or not the managers have actually asked the staff to remove their shoes or whether they've done so of their own accord. What do you think is the case? Whatever it is, it makes perfect sense and what is true in shops is just as appropriate in homes, surely we should value our floors and other people's floors as much as the shop managers and their staff value the shops' premises.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thankyou for your comment.

I am sure some retail workers remove their shoes voluntarily, but the practice is so common that I suspect it is a requirment in some shops, whether formal or informal.

God Bless

Matthew

Anonymous said...

I wonder if managers would be within their rights to dismiss an employee who refused to comply with such a request. It would actually be interesting if that were to happen and the case was taken to an industrial tribunal and see what the ruling would be there. Such an event would probably be a news item and would give the "shoes off" cause some publicity!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I have a law diploma, so I think I can answer that one!

I think an employer would be well within her rights to dismiss the employee.

The only possible objection would be if the employee had a disability that prevented her going shoeless. In which case, reasonable adjustments would have to be made, such as allowing her to wear a pair of shoes that were clean and flat.

There was a case where a secretary made a claim of sex discrimination because she was not allowed to wear high-heeled shoes in an office (to protect the carpet). However, the case failed because male staff members also had restrictions on footwear (they were not allowed to wear heavy boots).

God Bless

Matthew

Anonymous said...

In the case that you have just mentioned, did the employer actually ask the employee to take off her shoes upon arriving at work? An do you actually know the name of the case and when it took place?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

It was many years ago, when I was still at school. I read it in a newspaper article.

I do not think she was asked to remove her shoes. I think the newspaper would have mentioned it if that was the issue.

There is no legal reason why an employer could not ask staff to remove their shoes, medical reasons exempted.

Obviously, there are some jobs where it is essential, such as swimming pool life guards.

God Bless

Matthew