TUC issues heatwave homeworking warning

Workers organisation calls on employers to adapt to the warm weather with particular consideration for the large number of people homeworking

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The TUC has issued a warning to employers to ensure homeworkers stay cool in the heatwave.

Parts of the UK have sweltered this week. Temperatures are set to remain high across the south of the country all week.

Huge numbers of people are still homeworking due to the coronavirus outbreak. The TUC has asked bosses to think about employees who might ordinarily be working in an air-conditioned office but who are now making do in their kitchen or spare room.

They warned working in hot weather can lead to dehydration, tiredness, muscle cramps, rashes, fainting, and – in the most extreme cases – loss of consciousness.

Overheating

Employers are being urged to let workers alter their hours to avoid working in the heat of the day. Manual workers ought to be allowed to take a break in the middle of the day. Homeworkers might struggle with overheating IT equipment when temperatures go over 30C.

Flexible hours and more relaxed dress codes are recommended for those required to return to the office environment.

In law there’s no stipulation of minimum or maximum working temperatures. However, during working hours the temperature in all indoor workplaces must be “reasonable”. The government suggests 15C is a reasonable minimum temperature but there is no upper limit. It’s unclear how these regulations apply to home offices.

The TUC would like to see new legislation setting 30C as the upper limit for indoor workers.





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