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Acas publishes top tips to help keep workplaces cool for employees during a heatwave

Wednesday 24 August 2016

Workplace experts Acas have launched their latest hot weather guidelines to help employers keep workplace temperatures down so staff can continue to work safely and productively.

Temperatures hit 28C yesterday and the forecast is for another hot day today.

The UK has no legal maximum workplace temperature but the Health and Safety Executive states that temperatures must be at a "reasonable" level, depending on the place of work and type of activity.

The top three tips from Acas are:

  • Employers should always provide staff with access to drinking water. Employees should be responsible and drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.
  • Businesses should pay special attention to vulnerable workers. The elderly and pregnant women are particularly at risk of suffering in the heat.
  • Where possible staff can use air conditioning, blinds, protective clothing and sunscreen during hot weather to reduce temperatures at the workplace.

Acas Head of Guidance, Stewart Gee, said:

"Beaches may be packed with happy families when its sunny outside, but it is no fun for employees if workplaces are unbearably hot and stuffy.

"Employers should see what they can do to ensure their staff don't over heat at work. The elderly and pregnant women are especially at risk when temperatures soar.

"Our latest guidance on hot temperatures at work is a must-read for employers who want productive businesses throughout the summer. It offers simple but effective advice to keep temperatures in the workplace at a reasonable level and their staff fit for work."

Acas' latest guidance on workplace temperatures includes:

Dress code during warm weather - employers may choose to adopt a more casual or flexible approach to dress during hot weather days but this may depend on the type of the business.

Working outdoors - employers should consider the introduction of more frequent, short rest breaks, encouraging employees to have cold drinks during hot weather.

Acas' new Working temperature guidance is available.

Acas also has further Hot weather guidance.

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 Steven Mather, Media and Internal Communications Manager on 020 7210 3749 or, or Shumon Ali-Rahman, Senior Media Manager on 0207 210 3688 or For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 020 7210 3600.