Temperatures are soaring and employees are no doubt complaining about excessive temperatures in the workplace. Whilst the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations don’t specify a maximum workplace temperature there are some sensible measures employers can take to improve working conditions during a heatwave.
Simple measures like ensuring staff have access to cold water, fans and if possible, portable air conditioning units.
For those workers who are outside for the majority of the day, if possible see if working patterns can be shifted to allow an earlier start or enable workers to take cover during peak heat, between 11am-3pm.
And as for dress codes in these rising temperatures, common sense prevails and a slightly more relaxed approach might be appreciated by the workforce. The TUC have called for employers to temporarily relax their dress codes, suggesting no jackets, no ties and shorts as an alternative to trousers. It’s often soaring or dipping temperatures that prompt the debate about dress code, but it’s an important year-round consideration for all businesses. So in these soaring temperatures, communicate to employees what’s available to them to cool off and whether you’re willing to temporarily relax your dress code. Flip flops… perhaps? But draw the line at mankinis!