Keep workplaces cool during heatwave, TUC urges employers

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged employers to keep their workplaces cool during the heatwave, and to be lenient with their employees in regard to dress codes and flexible working in order to help them work as comfortably as possible.

The advice comes as the hot weather continues to affect much of the UK, with temperatures set to hit 34°C in some parts of the country.

The TUC is advising employers to keep workplaces cool by opening windows, providing employees with fans and installing air cooling and ventilation systems. Employers have also been encouraged to relax staff dress codes, and permit staff members to leave jackets and ties at home and wear lightweight and cooler clothes to work instead.

Allowing employees some flexibility at the start or end of their working day can also help them to avoid sitting in the heat during the rush-hour commute.

Unlike when temperatures plummet, there is currently no law in place restricting employees from working when their workplace becomes too hot. The TUC would like to see this changed, and has called for the introduction of a maximum indoor temperature of 30°C (or 27°C for those in strenuous jobs).

The TUC warns that high temperatures mean workers are at risk of fainting, suffering from dizziness or from heat cramps.

Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary, stated that employers ‘should do all they can’ to keep temperatures down during hot weather.

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