You only have to step outside the door to know the temperatures have dropped. It's blooming freezing and it's only set to get colder this weekend. Yippee... But have you found yourself shivering at your desk too?
If your answer to this is yes, then it's time to swot up on your rights. Did you know that, legally, you're entitled to a day off if your workplace is too cold? By law, employers must follow a set of strict regulations when the weather turns icy and, if they don't, then it's home time for you.
As stated in Workplace Regulations, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999: "Employers are obliged to assess risks to health and safety and act where necessary (ie, if the workplace temperature drops below the minimum guideline or if it is felt the temperature is too high)."
This means, if the temperature in the workplace falls below 16C, or 13C if the duty of work requires "vigorous effort", then bosses must do everything they can to bring it back up.
Staff should be allowed regular breaks and plenty of opportunities to put on the kettle for a warm brew while it gets sorted. Also, those in charge should also make sure workers are kept away from draughts. Flexible hours and the chance to work a reduced rota can even be considered if keeping the workplace balmy is proving to be a challenge.
Bizarrely though, even though the guidelines go in your favour if there's a cold snap, there is no legal limit as to how hot it can be in an office. As the guidelines above state, that's purely done on whether your manager "feels" it's too hot to work.
We all have that friend who is permo freezing. You'd better hope they're your boss too.
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