Trade Union Wants Office Workers To Be Sent Home When It Reaches 30C
We are well into what is being billed as the hottest week ever recorded in July, with forecasters predicting a high of 37°C tomorrow. Pretty brutal.
And the chances are that right about now you're opening up all the windows in your office, turning on every fan you can find and busting out the ice lollies, in a vain attempt to try and make life that little bit more bearable.
If this sounds like you then you could be in luck, as the Trade Union Congress (TUC) is campaigning for workers to be able to go home when it gets too hot. Huzza!
It is demanding office workers be able to go home when it reaches 30°C - or 27°C for manual labour - and says employers should 'adopt cooling measures' when the workplace temperature hits 24°C.
Sadly, at the moment, there is no legal maximum or minimum temperature for the workplace.
Guidelines set out by the Health and Safety Executive, however, state the temperature in all indoor workplaces must be 'reasonable'.
But in the meantime, the TUC has given a list of measure its says bosses can take to help keep you and your colleagues keep cool.
- Allowing flexible working: Giving staff the chance to come in earlier or stay later will let them avoid the sweltering and unpleasant conditions of the rush hour commute. Bosses could also let staff work from home where possible.
- Keeping their buildings cool: Workplaces can be kept cooler and more bearable by taking simple steps, such as having windows that can be opened, using fans, moving staff away from windows or sources of heat, and installing ventilation or air-cooling.
- Temporarily relaxing their workplace dress codes: Encouraging staff to work in more casual clothing than normal - leaving the jackets and ties off and wearing lightweight clothes instead - will help them keep cool.
- Keeping staff comfortable: Allowing staff to take frequent breaks and providing a ready supply of cold drinks will all help keep workers cool.
- Talking and listening to their staff: Staff will have their own ideas about how best to cope with the excessive heat.
TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said: "While many of us love to see the sun, it's no fun working in a baking office or a stifling factory. Bosses should do all they can to keep the temperature down.
"The easiest way for staff to keep cool inside is being able to work in more casual clothing. While shorts and vest tops may not be appropriate for all, nobody should be made to suffer in the heat for the sake of keeping up appearances.
"It's in bosses' interests to provide a cool and comfortable work environment. Workers who are unable to dress down in lighter clothing, or who work in offices without air-conditioning, fans or drinking water, are going to be tired, and lack inspiration and creativity."
Featured Image Credit: PA