As London swelters in 30 degree temperatures, could you be sent home from work?
As temperatures soar above 30 degrees in the capital today, you could be forgiven if your mind wanders off your work and towards a spot of light sunbathing.
But alack, alas: while UK law does state that “during working hours the temperature in all indoor workplaces must be reasonable”, there aren’t any specific rules governing how employers should react to hot weather.
Back in 2013, a group of labour MPs pushed for the right to be sent home should temperatures in the workplace reach 30 degrees or above.
The proposal, which was based on the claim that the being subjected to work during high temperatures can "impact seriously on health and well-being", was led by then-Labour MP Linda Riordan, who stood down at last year’s election.
Time for the UK to take inspiration from other parts of the world, where heat-related stress is a more regular cause for concern? Here’s what the rest of the world does…
Working hours are reduced when temperatures reach 40 degrees or above: all outdoor working activity is suspended and no outside operations are to be conducted during to the hottest three hours of the day
In recent years California has introduced measures meaning workers must be provided with shade if they’re working outdoors and the temperature rises above 85 degrees fahrenheit (that’s 29.5 celsius). If it hits 95 degrees, special procedures must be introduced.
Guidance documents are in place to to ensure proper risk assessments are covered during periods of high temperatures
Measures have been taken to ban outside work during hot periods of the day, companies found violating are subject to a fine, or risk being closed down.
During periods where outside temperatures exceed 26 degrees, indoor work temperatures must to be adjusted.