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Acas issues hot weather tips for employers during heatwave

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Workplace expert, Acas, has offered some top tips today to help employers manage workplace challenges due to the hot weather.

It was the hottest day of the year so far yesterday and the Met Office has predicted that the hot weather looks set to continue for the rest of this week.

Acas Senior Guidance Adviser, John Palmer, said:

"The sizzling weather may be ideal for the beach but staff getting into work during one of the hottest weeks of the year may not feel the same way.

"Certain workers may be adversely affected by the extreme heat such as pregnant women and elderly employees. The heat can also impact public transport too which can affect employees commuting into work.

"Our advice offers some top tips for employers to help ensure their businesses remain productive during the heatwave whilst keeping staff happy too."

Acas top tips for hot weather working include:

Workplace temperatures should be reasonable - the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) advice is that the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings must be reasonable. The HSE offers advice on how to carry out a thermal comfort risk assessment if staff are unhappy with the temperature: www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/index.htm

Keeping cool at work - switch on any fans or air conditioners to keep workplaces comfortable and use blinds or curtains to block out sunlight. Staff working outside should wear appropriate clothes and use sunscreen to protect from sunburn.

Stay hydrated - employers must provide staff with suitable drinking water in the workplace. Workers should drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration and not wait until they are thirsty.

Dress code - employers are not under any obligation to relax their uniform or dress code requirements during hot weather but where possible it may be advisable to for employers to relax the rules for wearing ties or suits.

Getting into work - if public transport gets adversely affected by the hot weather, this could affect staff attendance and their ability to get into work on time. Staff should check timetables in advance.

Vulnerable workers - some workers may be more adversely affected by the hot weather such as the elderly, pregnant women or those on medication. Employers may wish to give them more frequent rest breaks and ensure ventilation is adequate by providing fans or portable air cooling units.

Acas' full hot weather guidance is available at Hot weather.

Notes to editors

  1. Acas stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Acas provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. We support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success. We also provide good value, high quality training and tailored advice to employers. Our expertise is based on millions of contacts with employers and employees each year. Acas is an independent and impartial statutory body governed by a Council made up of members from business, trade unions, academia and the law.
  2. For media enquiries please contact Shumon Ali-Rahman, Senior Media Manager on 0330 109 3642 or salirahman@acas.org.uk. For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 0330 109 707.