With an average of 19 degrees for July in the UK, the Met Office have issued a level three heatwave warning with temperatures reaching 30+ degrees. Leaving us all hot under the collar, especially for those who are working in a stuffy office or outdoors.
So how hot does it have to be before you are sent home?
Work places are simply required by the Health and Safety Regulations Act 1992, to be at a “reasonable” temperature to work. So unless you are feeling unwell or need sick leave, it is down to the employer to decide what is reasonable and unreasonable temperature to work in.
Although, employers are required to undertake an assessment of the risks that would affect the health and safety of their employees and temperature is a factor that needs to be considered.
Must air conditioning be supplied?
Employees often assume that it is a requirement for the employer to supply air conditioning, however, they are not legally bound to do so. If there is not any air conditioning, an electrical fan is the way forward to keep temperatures down to a more comfortable level.
If employers are able to make certain changes to the dress code, they might be able to make working conditions more comfortable. Where it Is not appropriate to wear shorts and flip flops, the dress code will still apply even in the heat.
So if an employee turns up to work wearing something that is not in line with the dress code, employers have the right to pull them aside to remind them of the policy and what is considered appropriate.
One more thing..
Employers should have a strong relationship with their employees, so at times of hot and uncomfortable weather, employers need to have consideration. After all, if staff are trying to beat the heat, they will not be at their most productive.