In response to this week’s expected heatwave, the CIPD is urging employers to embrace flexible arrangements, to help staff stay comfortable and productive.
Rachel Suff, wellbeing adviser for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development said:
“Where possible, employers should be flexible with working arrangements and allow people to work from home in very hot weather if they will be more comfortable and productive at home. Commuting can be arduous in hot weather, so allowing people to stagger their start and finish times to avoid travelling at peak rush hour could help.
“While there’s no specific legal minimum or maximum temperature for workplaces in the UK, employers need to make sure the temperature in workplaces is reasonable.
“In a heatwave some workplaces, such as old buildings or those with a lot of glass, can become extremely hot and employers need to be aware of the health risks. People’s health and safety should be first and foremost and employers should be particularly mindful of people with a disability or health condition as the heat can make them particularly vulnerable.
“The heat can affect people’s level of concentration and cause fatigue, which may have health and safety implications for people working in some jobs such as safety-critical roles. Employers need to make sure the workplace is as cool as possible and provide fans if there’s no aircon. Relaxing a strict uniform code could also help people to be more comfortable.”