Notes: High Heels in the Workplace — A Health Hazard or a Symbol of Femininity? Observations on Appearance Regulation in Mofokeng v CCMA & Others 2022 ZALCJHB 169; (2022) 43 ILJ 2531 (LC)

Authors Aisha Adam & Debbie Collier

ISSN: 2413-9874
Affiliations: PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town; Professor of Law, Centre for Transformative Regulation of Work, University of the Western Cape
Source: Industrial Law Journal, Volume 44 Issue 1, 2023, p. 82 – 92


The case note considers the extent to which employers may regulate the appearance of employees and observes, as affirmed in the case, that appearance regulation is a matter of mutual interest; an employee’s freedom of expression exercised within the limits of the law may protect the employee from allegations of insubordination; context is of importance in determining the reasonableness of such regulation; and an inherent requirement of the job is a defence for the employer, but should be interpreted in a narrow manner. The article concludes by emphasising the potential for appearance regulation to constitute an abuse of power: hence such regulation must be legitimate and reasonable.