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Will you be sent home from work if it gets too hot?

PUBLISHED: 11:44 01 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:03 01 July 2019

What does the law say on office temperatures and workers' rights? Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

What does the law say on office temperatures and workers' rights? Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Archant

After this weekend's heatwave you might be wondering if there is ever a point where it's too hot to work and employers have to send you home.

Saturday saw Norfolk swelter under the hottest day of the year so far, with temperature in the region reaching 29C.

But if you're feeling the heat in a stuffy office, the best you can hope for is a desk fan, some open windows and an understanding boss.

The truth is there is no set temperature at which your workers' rights are breached and the law is actually quite vague.

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The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations state: "During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable."

But what does "reasonable" mean? Ultimately it's down to you and your co-workers.

With no set temperature stated in the law, you should inform your boss of uncomfortable heat and if enough people complain they must act on it.

As the Health and Safety Executive explains: "If a significant number of employees are complaining about thermal discomfort, your employer should carry out a risk assessment, and act on the results of that assessment."

While there is no law on a specific temperature yet, the Trade Union Congress wants to make it illegal to keep people at work indoors if the temperature is above 30C.

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