Published On: Thu, Jun 25th, 2020

Working from home in a heatwave – what are YOUR rights, can it be too hot to work?

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The Met Office said the temperature hit 32.6C at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday making it the hottest day of the year. The heatwave is forecast to persist until Thursday evening when it will break in some regions of the UK where severe weather warnings have been issued. But what temperature is too hot to work in by law?

What rights regarding temperature do you have in the office?

Several key workers and others who cannot work from home have started to return to their workplaces.

There are laws regarding temperature pertaining to working environments.

Unfortunately, there is no legally defined maximum temperature for offices or other places of work.

READ MORE: UK weather warnings: Where will thunderstorms strike?

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 requires an employer to maintain a reasonable temperature where you work, but it does not specify a maximum temperature.

There is a minimum temperature of 16C or 13C if the work involves considerable physical activity.

However, an employer is also expected to prevent a workplace from becoming uncomfortably hot.

There should also be enough thermometers around the workplace to enable people to check the temperature.

How does remote working during COVID-19 impact this guidance?

By law, employers are responsible for the health and safety of all employees, including those who work from home.

Although these rules have become a little unclear since lockdown as so many people have been forced to work remotely.

Employers are advised to check in with their employees to ensure their work can be undertaken safely.

As with some workplace necessities, employers may be willing to provide items to help workers keep cool, such as a fan, but they are not legally obliged to provide these items.

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