Rights of Employees During a Heatwave

With temperatures reaching north of 30 degrees throughout the UK in the last few days, the country is in the middle of a heatwave, with many left wondering what rules are in place for those working in offices. As GetSurrey reported, the temperatures seen (and felt) this week extend issues beyond comfort, as health and safety in the workplace becomes increasingly important. Below is a comment from Jane Crosby, who discusses what rights employee’s have in an office setting, and what duties an employer has in order to ensure that health and safety regulations are maintained.

“The recent hot weather may prompt again the call for MPs to request an upper temperature limit for workplaces to be put in place, especially those premises which don’t have the benefit of air conditioning. While the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 sets a lower temperature of 16 degrees (or 13 degrees if the work involves considerable physical effort), there is no limit on the maximum temperature.   An employer has a duty to provide a reasonable temperature where you work and  certain guidelines suggest it is 30°C so maybe ensure there is a thermometer to measure the temperature so it does not get too high.”

With no legal limit on how hot an office, or any workplace, can become before it becomes unsafe it is down to the employer to assess the conditions, although a future cap may be introduced if calls for MPs to act prove successful.

 

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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Jane Crosby

Partner, Dispute Resolution

Jane specialises in commercial litigation and employment law acting for both employers and employees in both contentious and non-contentious matters. She has also over recent...

Partner, Dispute Resolution

Jane Crosby

Jane specialises in commercial litigation and employment law acting for both employers and employees in both contentious and non-contentious matters. She has also over recent years carved out something of a niche in the field of mobile homes legislation acting for an owner with a number of sites.

Having studied geography at University College London Jane worked for a number of years in the aviation industry which has given her a real insight into the challenges faced by most businesses. Jane qualified as a Solicitor in 2004 before joining Hart Brown in 2011 and becoming a Partner in July 2018. Not only is Jane our specialist in employment law but she is also a prolific blogger within Hart Brown. You can find many of her articles on the 'News' section of the website.

Jane often receives praise from her clients:

“I appreciated the clarity of advice given at a stressful time”.

“A sensitive and highly professional approach and efficient work in the interests of the client”.

“Your advice, conduct and assistance have been indeed outstanding and very professional but also – and most importantly – very humane”.