Straight away, let me say that there is no maximum (or even minimum) temperature applied to a workplace. The guidance says that temperatures should only be reasonable and comfortable to work in during periods of extreme weather.
So, there are a few things you can do as the temperature increases:
Supply desk fans for employees. There are many low cost USB-powered ones available that can be plugged into computer ports to help keep them cool
Be relaxed about workwear, giving employees flexibility on how to wear it during warm spells
Support all of your disabled employees, and pregnant and menopausal women by allowing them to work from home if necessary. If they must be in the office, allow them to take longer or more frequent rest breaks, reducing their normal duty levels or moving them to cooler areas
Turn the air conditioning up where possible, or offer incentives like ice creams and cold drinks if appropriate.
Of course, issues with travelling can occur in extreme heat with train lines buckling, road tarmac melting or the electricity supply network being overloaded causing delays with signalling or traffic lights. Trains and cars can also become unreliable in hot weather, so reasonable leniency should be applied if staff are late.
"If they can't get to work at all, allow remote working where possible, or offer them accrued annual leave or time off in lieu!"
You may notice an influx of annual leave requests at the moment, to make the most of the hot weather. If you can extend normal caps then that may also help with motivation and productivity when they return to the office.
And finally, don't jump to conclusions if people try and get sick leave during periods of extreme weather. It is difficult to prove someone is faking an illness, so normal absence management processes should be followed.
Until next time ...
ROGER EDDOWES Business Godparent
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about looking after your staff during spells of extreme weather, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 01908 774320 and let's see how I can help you.
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Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.
Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.
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