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.


Jane Crosby

Partner, Head of Dispute Resolution & Accredited Mediator

Jane is a Partner based in the Guildford office and she is also Head of the Dispute Resolution team here at Hart Brown. Jane specialises...

Jane Crosby -Head of Dispute Resolution

Partner, Head of Dispute Resolution & Accredited Mediator

Jane Crosby

Jane is a Partner based in the Guildford office and she is also Head of the Dispute Resolution team here at Hart Brown. Jane specialises in employment Law and commercial litigation and brings more than 15 years' experience to her role.

Prior to entering the legal profession, Jane was employed in the aviation industry. This experience is appreciated by many of Jane's clients who note that she is able to take a commercial and pragmatic approach to any legal issue that they face.

Jane acts for a wide range of individuals and businesses and her areas of specialism include aviation, property related industries and IT. Jane regularly advises on aspects of employment law, such as settlement agreements, employment contracts, policies and procedures, redundancies, equal pay, data protection, issues arising from TUPE and reorganisations, the calculation of holiday pay, bonus and commission payments, disciplinary and grievance issues, dismissal and termination issues, the protection of confidential information and the enforcement of restrictive covenants. Jane gets involved in GDPR training for her clients and she is able to deliver tailored employment law training sessions upon request.

As a commercial litigation lawyer, Jane also deals in shareholder and directors disputes, commercial contract disputes and the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Jane has been involved in successful high value commercial litigation for clients in the High Courts, she is an accredited mediator and she is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.

Jane is often asked to write for a number of well known publications, including The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and The Week and she has been interviewed on BBC Radio 4.

Here is small selection of the feedback that Jane has received:

“Jane, I cannot sincerely thank you enough for your wise counsel and am delighted to have made your acquaintance. If I am blessed with a new position somewhere I will hand over my contract in the first instance to you. Likewise, any of my friends, peers, romans and countrymen wanting advice, I will point them in your direction.”

“Jane, you have been most resilient on my behalf for which I sincerely thank you for all your endeavours. I have a tremendous working relationship with Hart Brown and you have undoubtedly compounded this further."

“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”.