Published byCIPD

Flexible working arrangements can help employees keep cool in hot weather, says the CIPD

Commenting on this week’s hot weather and its potential impact on work, the CIPD urges employers to explore flexible working arrangements where possible

Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development said: 

“During periods of hot weather, health and safety needs to be a number one priority. Employers should be particularly mindful of those with a disability or health condition, or those in safety-critical roles like drivers and construction, as the heat can affect people’s concentration and cause fatigue.

“Where possible, employers should offer flexible working options in terms of where and when their staff work. Working from home may allow employees to be more comfortable and productive. Where roles can't be done from home, employers should explore other forms of flexibility. For example, flexibility in start and finish times to avoid the peak hour commute, which can be particularly challenging or disrupted in hot conditions.

“Some workplaces, such as old buildings, feel the impact of a heatwave more than others. There’s no specific legal maximum temperature for workplaces in the UK, but employers should take steps to try and ensure the temperature is reasonable.

“Businesses should put measures in place to maximise employee comfort, so they can get on with their jobs. These can include providing fans if there’s no air conditioning, easy access to cold drinking water and relaxing strict uniform dress codes. Employers may also want to be proactive about support and adjustments ahead of any hot weather, so people can discuss options with their manager in advance.”