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Perth bar apologises for forcing staff to wear low-cut T-shirts

Perth bar apologises for forcing staff to wear low-cut T-shirts

Perth’s Amplifier Capitol nightclub has created a furor after forcing female staff members to wear low-cut tops. 

Manager David Heaton told female staffers on a Facebook group that low-cut t-shirts were compulsory. 

“As a condition of your employment the team member is required to wear the uniform,” he wrote. “If you don’t feel comfortable you are welcome to find employment elsewhere.” 

Some female staff members previously wore men’s looser uniform shirts, which Heaton told ABC News were a safety hazard. 

“We need to ensure the health and safety of our employees,” he said. “Baggy shirts catch on things and could cause injury in the workplace.”

A former female employee said staff were only informed of the change via the Facebook post, and many of the women were extremely unhappy with the move.

One noted: “Forcing our female staff members to wear low-cut shirts that expose their cleavage while male staff members are not subject to such objectification is blatant sexism and is totally ludicrous,” the staff member said.

“We receive enough sexual harassment as it is working in the nightclub industry and pushing such a ridiculous dress code puts your female employees in danger.

“This action, and the disregard of employees expressing their discomfort over the appointed women’s uniforms shows how little Capitol Corp values their female employees.

“Surely there are alternatives to a more presentable uniform standard that doesn’t involve using our bodies as selling points.”

Heaton has since backtracked and agreed female staff members will be given the choice of shirts to wear.

“We will in future, ensure that employees can choose to wear two styles of shirts, provided that those shirts can’t catch on things,” he said.

The two different styles of t-shirt are shown above. 

He noted in the Facebook group that female staff can wear men’s T-shirts “as long as they are not overly baggy.”

“Men can wear women’s t-shirts as long as there isn’t too much cleavage showing,” he joked.

Heaton has since published a full apology on Amplifier’s Facebook page saying: 

“The proposed changes were made in poor judgement, without full consideration of the implications for our female staff. There was a lack of awareness and understanding of the ways in which these new uniforms may be viewed, and how staff may feel wearing them.

“Comments that female staff already face sexual harassment as part of working within the nightclub industry, and that these uniform changes would only exacerbate the issue, have resonated with us. We take the concerns uttered by all affected staff – and our many patrons – incredibly seriously.

“We care, respect and value our female staff deeply and wish to apologise to them directly for making them feel uncomfortable, disrespected or devalued by the proposed changes. Quite simply, we’re sorry.

“It was wrong to comment that any staff uncomfortable with the changes should find employment elsewhere – this was a throwaway comment that I very much regret. I would like to make clear that no staff have been, or will be, fired in relation to the uniform issue. I also respect the decisions of those who have departed the venue of their own volition in relation to this matter.

“It is of utmost importance to us that we both create and maintain safe and inclusive environments for staff and patrons of all genders, sexual orientations, religious beliefs and ethnic backgrounds – not only at Amplifier Capitol, but all venues managed by Capitol Corp.

“This event has highlighted the need for more sensitivity and understanding on our part regarding gender equality and we will make more considered decisions going forward. We see this as an opportunity to address larger issues of safety, comfort and equality within our venues and have learned a valuable, if not overdue, lesson.”

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