Acas Advice For Employers During Heatwave

Workplace expert, Acas, has offered some top tips to help employers manage workplace challenges due to the current heatwave

The Met Office has said it has been the driest summer since 1961 and have issued an amber heatwave warning until 9am on Friday.

Acas Senior Guidance Adviser, John Palmer, said:

“The scorching temperature may be great for the beach but staff getting into work during one of the hottest weeks of the year may not feel the same way.

“Workplace temperatures should be reasonable and staying hydrated at work is very important too. Employers may also wish to relax dress codes rules for wearing ties or suits.

“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: http://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.

Acas’ full hot weather guidance is available at http://www.acas.org.uk/hotweather

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