Employers: Drop the dresscodes and let your employees off wearing suits during the heatwave, begs the TUC

Emma Haslett
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Temperatures Soar To Highest Of The Year
Relax those dresscodes. (Source: Getty)

With the heatwave set to continue well into this week, employers have been asked to relax their dresscodes so men don't have to swelter in suits.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) called on employers to let staff off wearing suits so they can "work through the heatwave as comfortably as possible".

Although legislation dictates that employers cannot make staff work if the temperature is below 16 degrees, there is no upper limit.

“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," said Frances O'Grady, the TUC's secretary general.

“Employers can give their staff a break by relaxing dress code rules temporarily and ensuring staff doing outside work are protected."

The heatwave continues

The Met Office issued a level three heatwave alert today, with temperatures expected to stay in the high 20s celsius until at least Thursday.

Public Health England advised people to drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, and avoid physical exertion during the hottest parts of the shade.

How to keep staff cool
  • Allow staff to adopt less formal attire – with jackets off, and casual lightweight clothes in.
  • Ensure that outdoor workers have sun-screen and water and are given advice on the need to protect themselves from the heat and sun
  • Distribute fans to staff and provide portable air cooling cabinets
  • Allow flexible working so that staff can have the option of coming in earlier and staying later to avoid the sweltering conditions of the rush hour commute
  • Allow staff to take frequent breaks and provide a ready supply of cool drinks
  • If in doubt, buy ice cream

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