Acas tips for employers to manage hot weather at work

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

How to handle hot weather at work

The Met Office has predicted that the hot weather looks set to continue with temperatures of up to 35℃ expected in the middle of the week.

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, 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 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, while keeping staff happy too."

Acas's top tips for hot-weather working include:

Workplace temperatures should be reasonable

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advice is that the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings must be reasonable. There is HSE advice on how to carry out a thermal comfort risk assessment if staff are unhappy with the temperature.

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.

Staying 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're thirsty.

Dress code

Employers do not have to relax their uniform or dress code requirements during hot weather - but if possible they could consider relaxing the rules for wearing ties or suits.

Getting into work

If public transport is 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 affected by the hot weather, such as older people, pregnant women or those on medication. Employers may wish to give them more rest breaks and make sure there's enough ventilation by providing fans or portable air cooling units.

Read full hot weather guidance at archive.acas.org.uk.

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