Extreme Temperature


Here at Your Tax Shop many clients have asked about the recent hot weather and if staff have a right to be sent home when it is too hot. Before summer starts, can we help to clarify this?

Given the recent hot weather staff may be forgiven for gazing out of the window longing to be in the sun before the rain returns…

There is a common theory among employees that they have the legal right to leave work if the workplace reaches a certain temperature, however, this is not the case. Instead, the Health and Safety Regulations state that workplace temperatures must remain ‘reasonable’. Well, what is considered to be reasonable? This depends on the location and nature of the role, for example, a reasonable temperature in a kitchen is likely to be higher than in an office.

Your Tax Shop, Tameside recommend that you should evaluate the specific risks the impact of rising temperatures pose to your workforce before choosing to send employees home. This includes considering those who may be more vulnerable under these conditions such as pregnant and disabled employees. Disabled employees should be offered reasonable adjustments which can include prolonged breaks or amended work duties to help remove any adverse effects of the weather.

Although it may initially seem somewhat trivial you should not underestimate the importance of acknowledging employees concerns regarding the temperature. Having managers hold a brief discussion with staff to acknowledge the problem the heat is causing and urging them to work together under these conditions will show empathy and help to defuse the situation.

Your Tax Shop also advises that you may also choose to relax rules surrounding formal dress codes and uniforms, providing these do not breach Health and Safety requirements. Working for long hours in formal wear can be restrictive during the summer months and relieving employees of this requirement will allow them to be more comfortable during work. However, you mish may wish to set some ground rules to ensure employee’s attire remains appropriate for the working environment which is particularly important for those in customer facing roles.

An alternative way to prevent unrest and keep staff motivated during warmer weather is to provide cheap perks. Treats such as iced lollies and other cold refreshments are small affordable ways for you to show appreciation for employee’s efforts under these difficult conditions.

Overall, at Your Tax Shop we believe it is important that you stay ‘cool’ as temperatures heat up and taking a positive approach to accommodate staff will help maintain usual service levels and guard against unrest and absenteeism.

Our expert team at Your Tax Shop based in Mossley and Ashton under Lyne can help! Get in touch today for a bespoke service.

Speak to one of our friendly tax advisors at one of our offices in Tameside:

Ashton office – 0161 339 5689

Mossley office – 01457 837744