We've noticed you are using an outdated internet browser. For optimum performance and usability of the this website, we suggest you upgrade your browser.
Cold weather with someone walking in the driving snow with an umbrella up
Back to all articles

30 November 2023

It's cold outside - it shouldn't be inside

Guidance for members
Play the video

Wintery weather warnings

The temperature has dropped, and the UK prepares for a cold snap that will last into next week. What do you need to do if you can’t get into work or bad weather will cause you trouble getting home?

The first thing you must do is talk to your line manager.

Your manager is expected to treat your safety as a priority and should talk through working options such as:

You can expect to continue to be paid if you’ve looked at other viable ways to get to work, explored reasonable options for alternative childcare and dependants if impacted (e.g. school closures) and, if conditions improve, that you’ve made an effort to get into work when it makes sense to do so.

If you feel your individual circumstances aren’t being fairly considered and you want further advice, contact the officer who supports your workplace

When it's cold inside

If you’ve made it to work only to find it’s as cold inside as it is outside, there are steps your employer must take.

While there’s no minimum legal temperature for a workplace, the relevant legislation (the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992) simply states that the temperature in all indoor workplaces must be reasonable during working hours. However, the Health and Safety Executive’s Approved Code of Practice and guidance on those regulations says that the temperature in an indoor workplace should both provide reasonable comfort without the need for special clothing and should normally be at least 16 degrees. We interpret that to mean that colleagues shouldn’t need to have to wear their coats, hats and gloves when working in a branch or office.

If the temperature dips below 16 degrees in your workplace, then we recommend you immediately speak to your line manager to get some temporary heating put in or, if that’s not possible, consider additional measures to make the workplace more comfortable. As a last resort, the workplace may need to be closed until the temperature is reasonable. If you’re having heating problems that aren’t being resolved, please get in touch with the officer who covers your workplace.

Temperature gauge cards 

If you want to keep an eye on the temperature in your workplace, you can order one of our branded temperature gauge cards. Please send your request to: [email protected] - include your name and full workplace address.

Further info & guidance

There is further information and guidance available from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and some useful resources from the TUC:

Visit the HSE for further guidance Accord Help Centre: Workplace temperature

You might also like