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Keeping it cool: How hot is too hot to work?

Posted by Lotty Reeves on 13th September 2016

With the surge of heat waves over the past few weeks, and the world on track to have one of the hottest years since records began, here’s what you need to know about keeping your company cool while temperatures soar.

 

The law 

Although the weather is a hot topic, Parliament is yet to legislate on how hot is too hot to work. At the moment there is no fixed minimum or maximum temperature required for the workplace. However the benchmark of “reasonable” set by Health and Safety executives, states anything between 16 and 24 degrees Celsius is acceptable, depending on the type of workplace.

 

Our employment solicitor Laura Kirkpatrick says “It’s recommended by The Chartered Institute of Building Services that a general office temperature of 20 degrees Celsius is acceptable”.

 

“Each workplace will be different and therefore employers should have a clear policy or process in place for extreme weather”.

 

Staff wellbeing

To act reasonably employers should aim to adopt a consistent approach. However they should be mindful and use their discretion to ensure that all staff are comfortable during the hot summer months which in turn will ensure a happier workforce.

 

It’s generally acknowledged that hot weather is connected with an increase in irritation, meaning warmer working conditions may affect people’s concentration levels. Although not a legal requirement, small gestures such as desktop fans and the supply of plenty of cold water will help keep staff motivated during the warm summer months in the office (the occasional ice lolly may not go a miss either!)

 

If you require employment advice or have any HR questions please contact a member of our employment team.


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