Employers Urged to Let Staff Ditch Suits During Hot Weather

By Tom Pritchard on at

It's currently 25 degrees inside my flat which, while not ideal, isn't the worst situation to be in. Working from home means I have plenty of access to fans, ice cream, and am able to remove clothing as I see fit. Not everyone has that luxury, which is why the TUC is urging employers to loosen their dress codes during this kind of weather - particularly for men that are expected to wear a full suit and tie.

This comes after a weekend that saw some parts of the country experience temperatures as high as 32 degrees Celsius (predicted to reach 34 later this week), and a level three heatwave amber alert issued by the Met Office.

TUC is also suggesting that anyone working outside should stick to the morning and afternoon in order to skip the midday sun. On top of this the union has called for a change the law for workers in hot conditions. As it stands there is no upper limit that gives employees the right to go home, and TUC wants an upper limit of 30 degrees (or 27 for people performing physical labour), at which point they can go home early. It also wants ensure employers are obligated to keeping their staff cool if outdoor temperatures rise above 24 degrees.

General secretary Frances O'Grady said:

"While many of us will welcome the sunshine and warm temperatures this week, working in sweltering conditions can be unbearable and dangerous. Employers can give their staff a break by relaxing dress code rules temporarily and ensuring staff doing outside work are protected. Obviously shorts and flip flops won't be the right attire for all workers, but no-one should be made to suffer unnecessarily in the heat for the sake of appearances."

I can't say these are unreasonable requests, and while business won't really appreciate having to send their staff home early the least they can do is make sure everyone is working in comfortable temperatures. Overheated employees aren't exactly efficient, after all. [Telegraph]

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