Too cold to work?
A number of weather warnings are in place across the country for wintry hazards as the cold weather continues into next week.
So, what does this mean for you at work?
There’s no legal minimum workplace temperature, but guidance suggests a minimum of 16ºC (or 13ºC if employees are doing physical work).
There are practical steps your employer can take to keep you as comfortable as possible when working in the cold. Here are a few:
- Provide adequate workplace heating, such as portable heaters, to ensure work areas are warm enough when occupied
- Design processes that minimise exposure to cold areas and cold products
- Reduce draughts while keeping adequate ventilation
- Provide enough breaks to allow workers to get hot drinks or warm up in heated areas
If you’re struggling to get to work and you’re not sure what to do, take a look at your employer’s guidelines.
If you’ve done all you can to make it into work and talked to your line manager about your situation, then you should still be paid. Your employer can ask you to work some time back in exceptional circumstances where there’s an urgent business need.
If you follow the guidelines and think your manager is being unreasonable, please get in touch with your local Accord officer.
Further info & guidance
There is further information and guidance available from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and some useful resources from the TUC:
- Acas’s guidance on extreme temperatures in the workplace
- HSE guidelines on temperature in the workplace
- Too Hot Too Cold TUC microsite