5 things employers should know about dealing with hot weather in the workplace

WITH the temperatures heating up, it can be a sweltering time for employees who are stuck behind their desk all day.

But there are a few things bosses can do to make life slightly more bearable for staff.

Casual businessman sitting at desk with electric fan in his office

Casual businessman sitting at desk with electric fan in his office

Peninsula Employment Law Director Alan Price has compiled a list of the five things employers need to know about to deal with the hot weather in their workplace.

1. There is no maximum workplace temperature

Many employees believe there is a maximum workplace temperature set by the law which, once reached in the summer, means they’re entitled to be sent home from work.

Health and Safety Regulations simply require workplace temperatures to be ‘reasonable’.

There are a few things employers can do to deal with hot weather in the workplace. Picture: OJO Images/Rex Features

There are a few things employers can do to deal with hot weather in the workplace. Picture: OJO Images/Rex Features

2. How to work out a reasonable temperature

Whether temperature is reasonable will depend on the type of work and the nature of the workplace e.g. is the work manual labour taking place outside?

Undertaking a risk assessment will help assess these factors to determine a reasonable workplace temperature, and expert guidance can also be used to advise on this.

3. Don’t just ignore staff grumbles

There will always be some members of staff who remain too hot or too cold.

Rather than ignoring their grumbles, steps can be taken to address these before they result in formal grievances.

Easy, but effective, steps can include using portable desk fans or moving employees away from air conditioning units.

4. Relaxing the dress code can have a positive effect

Most companies have a dress code in place to help portray a certain image or brand to their customers.

Whilst business dress is a popular option, wearing suits or formal clothing can be extremely uncomfortable over the summer months, especially in warmer workplaces or during the daily commute.

It will still be important to have some rules in place, for example, a summer dress code can require business dress but state males do not have to wear ties.

5. Recognise the heat

Taking simple steps to show employers value and appreciate their staff during hot weather will help perk employees up and reduce absenteeism.

These steps can include providing ice lollies, cold drinks, summer snacks to members of staff or early finish incentives providing certain targets are met will help raise productivity as staff wish to make the most of their longer evenings.