having time off work due to heat?

(191 Posts)
IneedAyoniNickname Thu 18-Jul-13 23:36:59

I've seen a couple of things on facebook, saying that they (the govt) are considering allowing people in non.essential jobs to not have to go to work if temperatures reach 30 degrees or more.

The people that have posted about it all work in essential jobs, mainly care work. They were all of the opinion that if they have to work, everyone does. Ans part of me agrees.

BUT, surely they chose to have that career, knowing they didn't get time of for Christmas/Easter/bank holidays/extreme weather.

So what do mners think? Should people be able to stay at home, particularly those who work in un air conditioned places, in non essential roles?

What about young school children? Ds2 was actually sick. with the heat, so has had to stay off school for the last day and a half of term. Mum also suffers badly with heat, and occasionally passes. This is despite drinking plenty and avoiding sun.

Btw, my career plan is nursing, if I get into uni next year. I'm going into it knowing I'll have to manage in all extremes of weather.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 18-Jul-13 23:38:24

God how stupid. I lived in Adelaide and if they had that rule there, the country would be buggered!

I lived with no air con and a new baby! we were in that house for a year and did fine.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 18-Jul-13 23:38:34

I always assumed, whatever post I was in, that I would have to go to work no matter what the weather was doing.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 18-Jul-13 23:38:58

I have to add...by Aussie standards this isn't even hot! It's pleasant. grin

VivaLeBeaver Thu 18-Jul-13 23:40:23

How on earth do people in Italy, Greece, etc manage to work? One of my friends is Greek and laughed when she heard this. I do think people ought to man up to be honest.

Is just warm weather.....dress appropriately, drink lots.....people will be fine.

foreverondiet Thu 18-Jul-13 23:40:38

My kids school closing at 1pm monday due to heat. But different for kids - think adults should have to go to work but every office I gave ever worked in is air conditioned...

MaryMotherOfCheeses Thu 18-Jul-13 23:41:33

I wouldn't believe everything you read on Facebook...

McNewPants2013 Thu 18-Jul-13 23:41:53

This country seems to crumble in extreme weather.

I work as a cleaner in a hospital, it's been difficult working in this heat.

It's all well and good advising people to stay at home, but where is the money lossed to company's going to come from.

ravenAK Thu 18-Jul-13 23:42:29

How would this be a Govt. decision? Unless you're directly employed by by them. I'm not sure how they'd go about getting small business owners to send their workforce home.

It's not even that hot! Sweaty & unpleasant, yes, life threatening - probably not so much.

IneedAyoniNickname Thu 18-Jul-13 23:42:32

I agree btw. Even if I did a non essential job I'd expect to go to work in this weather.

I'm not sure what a non.essential job is either, I'm.just.using the words I saw on fb. I know I'd be annoyed if the local shops were closed due to heat.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Thu 18-Jul-13 23:44:10

It's the same argument as when there's snow.

We're crap in extreme weather because we get it so rarely. In the grand scheme of things.

So why invest in it?

We havne't had a summer like this in 10 years. Why should businesses suffer losses by people taking time off cos it's a sunny day?

Hiphopopotamus Thu 18-Jul-13 23:44:29

Ridiculous. I work in a care giving tole. I worked Christmas Day, bank holidays are not a consideration, and weekends have lost their meaning.

However, I did not sign up to be at work while other people in other tokes leave because it's too hot. We gave no air conditioning, and our office is hot. But either a persons job is a role that needs filling, or it's not. If I had such a minimal role in society that I could afford to stay home because it's HOT, I would be considering the value of what I am doing with my life.

(Sorry for the rantiness...this one got to me...blush)

IneedAyoniNickname Thu 18-Jul-13 23:44:33

mary that's why I've said it was on facebook, so people didn't start asking me to link to news stories. I know it might not be true. Just wondered what people's opinions were

Mintyy Thu 18-Jul-13 23:45:31

This can't be for real. Its just a bit warmer than usual.

HeySoulSister Thu 18-Jul-13 23:46:20

I saw it on aol homepage today, so it's not just fb

maja00 Thu 18-Jul-13 23:47:33

Typical FB bullshit - how would the govt authorise people who worked in non-essential jobs not to work?

If the heat has made you ill (eg if you are elderly/disabled/pregnant/more vulnerable) then obviously have time off. But most people can manage to go about their lives at 30 degrees.

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 18-Jul-13 23:48:19

No, I think there needs to be some common sense about it and obviously those at risk of heat stroke from being on a building site etc should be very careful, but generally I would expect everyone to go to work! If you don't want to take it as holidays

ShellyBoobs Thu 18-Jul-13 23:49:46

I think you Facebook friends are deluded as to what the government actually is and what powers it has.

'They' can't decide that people don't have to go to work.

A law would have to be passed (or at least an ammendment to HSAW Act) outlawing the use of work areas above a certain temperature.

As far as I understand it, it's one numpty MP who's had a stupid idea and there's now the typical media hype.

Of course, when people found out they wouldn't be paid for not being at work, they might not think it was such a clever idea.

And as others have said, how on earth do people in genuinely hot countries manage?

Iaintdunnuffink Thu 18-Jul-13 23:51:19

Are they referring to outside temps or the temp in the workplace?

Tweasels Thu 18-Jul-13 23:52:35

What classes as a non essential job?

marriedinwhiteagain Thu 18-Jul-13 23:53:56

There is no statutory maximum temperature in the UK.

YABU. The middle east, africa, the med, australasia, india are all far hotter - at worst - have a longer lunch (siesta) and work into the late evening.

We have to get on with it.

IneedAyoniNickname Thu 18-Jul-13 23:55:46

I.don't know tweasels It's the language that was used on fb. I'd assume shop work, or any job that.doesn't involve saving lives? Maybe the sort of jobs where you get Christmas etc off?

Maryz Thu 18-Jul-13 23:58:14

So, those people who don't go to work because it's too hot, will they be able to manage to get to the beach I wonder?


outingmyselfprobably Thu 18-Jul-13 23:58:14

What Mary said. They chat almost as much bollocks on Facebook as they do on here.

Jinsei Fri 19-Jul-13 00:02:13

Ridiculous! It's not even that hot!!!

Tweasels Fri 19-Jul-13 00:02:34

I was thinking about what are non essential jobs and many of the ones I can think of are either outdoor based or likely to be in premises with air con (private sector).

Essential jobs are usually in the public sector where you are more likely to be based in a dilapidated, not fit for purpose building with no adequate ventilation.

Must be FB bullshit.

Although if I were PM, we'd all get a day off once the temp hit 22 degrees grin

IneedAyoniNickname Fri 19-Jul-13 00:02:53

married so are you saying they should have to work? Or shouldn't? Or should but have a siesta?

Maryz probably, but I don't actually know anyone who's had time off for heat so can't ask!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Fri 19-Jul-13 00:03:44

Going to the beach will be compulsory for most of them Mary, they'll need to to cool off.

xylem8 Fri 19-Jul-13 00:05:35

I don't know why people are drawing parallels with hot countries
1 Their bodies are acclimatised to it
2They take a siesta

This country is mad where heat is concerned

My sons school thought it was a good idea to take reception children on a 2.5 hour walk today with very little shade, setting off at 1pm-the heat of the day.This is an OFSTED outstanding school- zero common sense

Cluffyflump Fri 19-Jul-13 00:05:37

I've had a call from one employee,
He's off work tomorrow due to heat exhaustion (construction).
We've checked up on the others who were working with him today and they are all ok, so we are telling them to take care and pull off at the slightest hint that they are unwell.
I trust all of them and I don't want anyone hurt.
Not all bosses are as fab as me though!

IneedAyoniNickname Fri 19-Jul-13 00:06:01

Right I'm voting *tweasels for PM in the next election grin

marriedinwhiteagain Fri 19-Jul-13 00:06:14

I'm saying people should work but wherever possible make adjustments to make it as bearable as possible. I was in early today and came home for a couple of hours at lunch time. Went back in at 2.20 and worked until 7.45pm.

xylem8 Fri 19-Jul-13 00:07:05

'cluffylump' by the time they feel unwell it is too late!

IneedAyoniNickname Fri 19-Jul-13 00:08:41

cluffy I know of one construction worker who collapsed at work and had to have an ambulance called. But he's been on a crap diet, so hardly eating or drinking! He's now been signed off for a few days.

IneedAyoniNickname Fri 19-Jul-13 00:10:19

Ah. Ok thanks married that makes sense in jobs where its workable. My mum works from home, so works when its coolest in her office. But she is lucky to have that option I guess.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 19-Jul-13 00:12:53

I think its bloody ridiculous- the country cant grind to a halt because it's warm! Non essential jobs? How do we define those? The bakers in asda? Do they get to stay home? Maybe all of asda? All shops? Leisure centres? They economy would go right down the pan. Pathetic that it has even been suggested.

Cluffyflump Fri 19-Jul-13 00:14:18

I have explained the dangers of heat stroke to them (covered in h&s talk).
The guy who was ill tonight was the one who had sun cream and a hat!
Builders are a bloody nightmare.
I will be having strong words when he has recovered though.
No job is worth risking your health for.
Even if they are working for me!

DiseasesOfTheSheep Fri 19-Jul-13 00:17:34

Daft idea... But I do think that companies have a responsibility to ensure sensible working conditions - which may include air con in certain circumstances (e.g. working in a small area with a lot of electrical equipment, where the windows can't be opened or fans used - for various H&S and logistical reasons -and where you have to wear additional layers of clothing, meaning that the working temperature is ridiculous in this weather).

dayshiftdoris Fri 19-Jul-13 00:18:52


Nursing may well be a vocation that you become dedicated to.
However working on a ward where the temperature has hit 40c, in a thick, polyester mix uniform (because they wont allow you to put scrubs on), having not had a drink for hours (because you are not allowed one on the ward) and all your fans you have prioritised for patients or are banned because of infection control will make you change your attitude to 'working whatever'.

I didn't pee for 12hrs after that shift and had heat exhaustion - reasonable adjustments to dress, etc is all well and good IF your employer allows it. Healthcare professional or not I need to drink in this heat.

There should be a maximum working temperatures & hospitals shouldnt be exempt... after all if it unbearable for us imagine what it's like for patients.

dayshiftdoris Fri 19-Jul-13 00:21:43

And for what it's worth I think a maximum working temp would stop work but will make employers make provision to keep employees safe...

And it is that which is needed

Cluffyflump Fri 19-Jul-13 00:23:45

I can't stop the sun though DiseasesOfTheSheep.
I want all of my workers to be safe.I genuinely like and care for them.
If I pull off all of my outside work,I will not be able to pay their wages.
If they don't work, I can't pay.

marriedinwhiteagain Fri 19-Jul-13 00:24:56

so if hospitals aren't exempt dayshift what happens to the vulnerable patients when the nurses go home? Shouldn't it be that hospital trusts have to make reasonable adjustments to deal with very high temperatures.

IneedAyoniNickname Fri 19-Jul-13 00:28:08

dayshift I agree, adjustments should be made in this weather, and frankly expecting anyone to go 12 hours without a drink is ridiculous!

ChubbyKitty Fri 19-Jul-13 01:37:46

As someone who works with a 250 degree oven most nights and is not allowed to pee until the 'rush' is over, I think it's a brilliant idea.

However as someone who needs to pay the bills and could probably just eat some ice chips before her shift, I think it's ridiculous.

My role is most certainly not essential btw. I work in a pizza store. I highly doubt I contribute anything to society other than elevated cholesterol. But work is work and I am grateful to even be in a job.

ChubbyKitty Fri 19-Jul-13 01:41:31

Also going to second what dayshift says about employers simply making better provisions. I.E. let the staff go for a drink of water when they've started sweating and getting all flushed.

I feel bad now about my peeing at work situation. Yours is much more unacceptable! shock

MidniteScribbler Fri 19-Jul-13 03:31:40

Good grief, I hope most of you never think about emigrating to Australia. The temperatures you have now are absolutely nothing!

Dress for the climate, drink lots of water, stay in the shade in the middle of the day. Where the heck has common sense gone?

BronaghT Fri 19-Jul-13 03:53:35

I've never heard of anything like this!! As soon as the temp gets over 30. From Adelaide and growing up? Before most school had air con it had to hit 40 before we were allowed he for the day!
As for work places, this is just ridiculous. I'f your workplace has no air con, use fans and make sure staff have access to plenty of water. 30 degrees really is not that hot!!!!

MrsMook Fri 19-Jul-13 04:36:57

It is about what we are acclimatised to and the way we work in the heat. I'm very happy to be on Mat Leave and not in a 70s flat roof classroom with windows that won't open more than 2 inches and 30 stinking sweating teenagers flopping on desks and whinging. It's a bad atmosphere in more ways than one.

I've naturally adapted by drinking more, wearing lighter clothing, and doing house work in the evenings when it's cooler. Encouraging employers to be more flexible on things like dress codes, and flexi-time where possible, and using fans to improve air circulation would make workplaces more comfortable for more people. Other countries manage in greater heat because they work around it. The buildings are designed to reflect and block out the sun, people wear light, loose clothing, the working day avoids the hotest hours.

DH has been working in Saudi Arabia this week where it's been around 48oC. The low humidity helps to make it more managable and it's easier than when we were in a very humid Hong Kong of 38oC.

SprinkleLiberally Fri 19-Jul-13 05:56:32

What mrs mook said.

People need to be allowed to ditch their usual clothing, take drinks with them even if normal rules don't allow.

It may be only 30○ but it's much higher inside buildings in many cases.

SprinkleLiberally Fri 19-Jul-13 05:57:12

That was " 30 degrees outside" btw

Ilovemyself Fri 19-Jul-13 06:56:49

It's summer. Why is everybody getting so worked up!

Goldenbear Fri 19-Jul-13 07:22:52

I don't think it is a workable option but it is not ridiculous to think about the harm extreme heat can do to us, indeed organisations responding appropriately would surely help productivity?

It is not helpful to draw comparisons with hot countries where people are physiologically acclimatised to extreme heat.

It is a nonsense to advocate 'manning up' as it leads to further ill health and not responding sensibly to something that can kill you. People used to have this blasé attitude about sun exposure and that kind of ignorance kills. This kind of thinking has not helped the 'Aussies' who have the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Obviously, Australia has high levels of UV radiation but this combined with the cultural attitudes regarding the benefits of over sun exposure and outdoor lifestyles has created major health problems for them.

SolomanDaisy Fri 19-Jul-13 07:30:19

They're not talking about outdoor temperature FFS. It's about a maximum safe working indoor temperature, to correspond with the legal minimum. It is to encourage employers to make adjustments, not let people go to the beach. People in hot countries have already made adjustments to their buildings and working patterns.

SolomanDaisy Fri 19-Jul-13 07:31:18

Oh and it's an early day motion, so unlikely to become law. News sites can tell you this stuff.

livinginwonderland Fri 19-Jul-13 07:33:50

I think workplaces need to adapt when it's this hot. I work in a supermarket in the kitchens and it is HOT in there. There's no aircon that works over four ovens running at over 200 degrees and it does get to well over thirty degrees in that kitchen. My manager has been great and has adapted policy - I'm allowed water down there and I can take more frequent breaks to get out of the heat, but is still hot and unpleasant.

I called out sick on Wednesday because I got a bit of heatstroke and there's no way I could have managed to do my job. I spent the day lying on my bed with fans blasting me and drinking stupid amounts of water, and I still felt rotten. And I was born in Australia.

BUT Australia has air-con. Everywhere is airconditioned - houses, cars, shopping centres, everywhere. It's MUCH easier to cope when you can go from air-conditioned house, to air-conditioned car, to air-conditioned job. Most houses here are designed to trap heat, don't have air conditioning and people just aren't used to it.

dayshiftdoris Fri 19-Jul-13 07:36:14


I did miss a 'n't' off second post...

I don't think nurses & midwives would stop work (I wouldn't) but at least I would be protected in law against stupid managerial decisions about having to wear a thick uniform (with no bare legs) and no fans because of infection control (there are safe fans available but expensive) and no drinks on the ward area yet no where to drink on the ward and too busy to leave...

All it would need Married would be option to wear scrubs, a jug of iced water at every station and decent fans to prevent a LOT of discomfort.

I now do a job where I can drink & pee when I like... Still don't drink enough as so out of habit of drinking at work but its quite a luxury smile

Nervousfirsttimer Fri 19-Jul-13 07:40:04

Sunshine in summer is not an excuse not to go to work! Nor is it headline news! This country is obsessed with weather. Just enjoy it and stop moaning.

LotsaTuddles Fri 19-Jul-13 07:40:05

A guy that I work with has constantly been moaning about the heat.

Our air conditioning isn't working properly and is chucking out warm air!! And when our office manager went out to buy fans there were none anywhere.

Now I'm 31+ 3 weeks pg and just getting on with it. Yes it's hot. Yes it's uncomfortable. Yes it's difficult to concentrate. But get on with it.

He went home at lunch time yesterday because it was too hot!!!!! I wanted to scream

EeyoreIsh Fri 19-Jul-13 07:41:05

I don't think 30C is that hot, but we're not used to it so it does make it difficult to cope with.

Also, our working day isn't structured around the heat. I have Cypriot and Maltese colleagues. They work longer hours over winter so that in summer they work mornings (7-12) only. ok, that wouldn't work for essential jobs like nursing, but hospitals there have air conditioning.

If our summers were routinely this hot we would find a way around it.

samandi Fri 19-Jul-13 08:23:43

FGS it's not that hot. Seriously, just get on with your work and stop whinging. (Not directed at OP.) It'll be back to rain and 5 degrees before long.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 19-Jul-13 08:25:49

living tell that to my Aussie parents in law! They REFUSE to get air con. They're old school and just shut all the blinds! It's bloody miserable....dark hot house.

livinginwonderland Fri 19-Jul-13 08:48:21

Neo I can imagine - my grandma is still living in Melbourne and she has the heating on when it's over forty degrees outside!

missesjellybean Fri 19-Jul-13 08:58:28

unless you're physically ill from the heat or a carer for someone physically ill from the heat ie your son then everyone should work.
it was bad enough half the country not showing up to work when it was snowing now because it's sunny.
surely people can manage to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and if necessary in a non essential job taking regular breaks...
if everyone in non essential jobs took a break everything we had an extreme of weather the country would grind to a halt.

krasnayaploshad Fri 19-Jul-13 09:00:06

living not everywhere in Australia has air-conditioning! Not many factories have air-con. I can tell you working in a cannery (with lots of retort ovens) when it's 40oC+ outside is not fun but we still had turn up to work!

badguider Fri 19-Jul-13 09:02:19

Some offices are inhumane in this heat and some public transport is too - people still need to work, but a good employer will be flexible about options for working from home or travelling outside of the main rush hours. A good employer will also be trying to buy fans and air conditioning units to try to make their staff more comfortable. There's no doubt that staff in office jobs are far less productive when the temperature is over 30deg.
I'm more worried about people who work in kitchens though - kitchens are often as hot as offices are now, so I hate to think how hot kitchens are in this weather, I hope chefs etc are getting plenty of breaks - they should get extra breaks for fresh air and water imo.

whois Fri 19-Jul-13 09:04:16

When I was a child we went to Germany on an exchange. When the temp got above a certain temp the school shut and we spent a nice couple of days hanging out in an outside pool. Bliss.

Not exactly a workable solution for the workplace.

As mentioned higher up tho - a bit of flexibility would be nice from employers eg about uniform, drinks, breaks etc. I'm lucky, my office Is nicely air con, I wear a smart but lightweight dress without rights, and I can drink at my desk and take breaks if needed (don't need to as cooler inside!) but things would be a lot harder in a heavy uniform in a hit office!

FeegleFion Fri 19-Jul-13 09:05:32

IMHO employers should be taking all necessary measures (where applicable) to ensure their employees are as comfortable as possible in their working environment, regardless of the weather.

This country is really shite at dealing with extreme weather and need to get it sorted. The country shouldn't grind to a halt because of the weather.

AnneTwacky Fri 19-Jul-13 09:09:44

I don't think this will become law but it would be good if just the fact it's being discussed made some employers invest in/ rent air conditioners though.

Tweenotme Fri 19-Jul-13 09:12:07

It is utterly ridiculous to compare with people in hotter countries, those people are habituated to the climate they live in.

Just because one person can cope in one condition does not mean everyone else can and shouldn't rubbish those for not being able to do so.

Telling myself to 'man up' will not give me skin that does not burn after 10/15 in strong sun or blister if out longer.

However i do have coping strategies and just get on with my day by doing things in a different way. But not everyone is able to be as flexible due to constraints of their job location/requirements.

NotAQueef Fri 19-Jul-13 09:14:47

The early day motion being proposed by a handful of MPs refers to the working temperature - ie in most cases INSIDE.
Those of you scoffing saying it's just summer/that's nothing compared to oz etc etc - I would imagine that most workplaces in UAE, Australia, other hot parts of the world are streets ahead in terms of confortable working conditions such as providing air con/cooling.

My office was over 30 degrees inside on Wednesday and it was horrific - 8 of us sweating in a room where there was no airflow barring the fans moving the sweat around. I am fortunate as was allowed to work from home yesterday, but really when healthy people are starting to swell up and struggle due to the heat it does need to be looked at.

Workers born and raised in hot countries will of course be more accustomed to the heat - possibly even better equipped to cope.

We probably should be encouraging more employers to make adaptations so that workers' health nor the economy need suffer

FWIW we have air con at my work - but a decision to be more green has meant it will never be switched on confused

Trills Fri 19-Jul-13 09:17:38

It's up to every employer to decide which would be the most efficient solution

A - letting people have time off work if it's over a certain temperature inside

B - installing air conditioning that may only be needed for a few days every year

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 19-Jul-13 09:33:21

Regarding hot weather in other countries:

You are acclimated in this country to find 26c "hot." I am from a place where it's regularly 40 in the summer, but after living here eight years, this does feel really hot!

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 19-Jul-13 09:36:17

I am not in my usual work uniform of Dickies with knee pads and polo shirt. I am wearing light cotton clam diggers and a vest.

But, I have to clean a house with an Aga today! shock

angelos02 Fri 19-Jul-13 09:39:38

I can't believe this weather is even making the news, let alone being a feature of every single bulletin. It is a bit warmer than normal. End.

Tweenotme Fri 19-Jul-13 09:41:32

The working an earlier day or shorter then temps are high seems prudent. Collecting DC's form school in 30 degrees is madness!

We have been camped out in our darkened room unit lit cools. I took the DC to park 7pm to 9pm when it was cooler - they couldn't sleep anyway.

funkybuddah Fri 19-Jul-13 09:44:12

I think it's stupid and unenforceable

however I would welcome a relaxing of uniforms (unless Saftey garb) as my uniform is jeans and air con is useless as all the hot air from the shopping centre flows into my shop sad

flowery Fri 19-Jul-13 09:47:08

"I don't think nurses & midwives would stop work (I wouldn't) but at least I would be protected in law against stupid managerial decisions about having to wear a thick uniform (with no bare legs) and no fans because of infection control (there are safe fans available but expensive) and no drinks on the ward area yet no where to drink on the ward and too busy to leave..."

Dayshift having a maximum temperature that hospitals weren't exempt from wouldn't protect you against any of that. Although it is all stupid I agree. A maximum temperature would mean that if the workplace went above that temperature, people wouldn't have to work and employers would have to let them go home. You may say you wouldn't go home, and don't think your colleagues would, but some might and if none would, there would be no point hospitals not being exempt anyway.

Unfortunately government can't generally legislate against stupid management decisions.

gordyslovesheep Fri 19-Jul-13 09:49:27

it was on FB so it must be true grin

it is an early day motion put forward by a group of 18 MP's - it wont go anywhere ...

simple info to find via Google

orangeandemons Fri 19-Jul-13 10:00:17

I work in a school with 3 floors. The top floor was hitting 40 degrees this week. The windows only open a tiny bit for H and S reasons.

Students were exhausted with the heat, staff were exhausted with the heat, no one was really learning anything. Lots of sweaty teenagers in a small room raises the temperature even higher just due to the body heat. Several staff and students were faint/ fainting because of the heat.We have no fans and no air conditioning.

Obviously we cannot adjust the school timings so we battled on. But. It. Was. Unbearable. So I can see where they are coming from suggesting works close to some extent. I think it depends on where you work

DiseasesOfTheSheep Fri 19-Jul-13 10:06:58

cluffy obviously you can't control the sun, but you can make adjustments to working procedure - e.g. Dress (well not an issue for builders), allowed to carry a drink / have access to water during the day, setting up shade, potentially adapting working times etc. I'm sure, as a sensible employer, you are doing everything you can.

It is different when you work in an indoor environment where you can't take basic things (like drinks, less/ cooler clothing, fans etc) and the employer doesn't fix the air con to make it possible to work in a closed room where temperatures are much higher than those outside due to electrical equipment etc.

I don't think the principle of 'over 30 degrees C, suitable adjustments should be made to working conditions' is unreasonable, appropriate to the feasibility for the nature of the job.

Obviously that's not the same as a free day of though!

whatever5 Fri 19-Jul-13 10:15:21

I'm certainly thinking of not going into the office next week if it is too hot although I will probably work at home or take annual leave.

I think that it would be ridiculous to expect people to work if the temperature in their office is well over 30 degrees. It may only be 27 degrees outside but if you work on the top floor of a tall building it is much hotter!

The fact that some countries are hotter than the UK at the moment is irrelevant as their buildings are usually designed to stay reasonably cool and/or they have air conditioning.

ChubbyKitty Fri 19-Jul-13 10:15:31

Our ac is broken. In a building shared with a cinema and a coffee shop. "Should be fixed by the end of the week"

And is that Friday or Sunday?

missesjellybean Fri 19-Jul-13 10:52:52

if you're prepared to use your annual leave to take time off then that's your choice but I think to just expect extra days off with due to heat when the rest of the country are working through is unreasonable...I work in a&e but live in the country side it was a bit annoying last year when I could safely make it to work driving in a crappy p reg Ibiza without any risk getting to work when people who lived within 10mins of work were Phoning to say they couldn't get in due to the snow....it bugged my manager to especially as one of the people who phoned in had a 4x4 and was always doing off road driving. she sent a taxi out to pick him up for work as he said he couldn't drive which did secretly make me chuckle!
I do think people will use the heat as an excuse not to work which is annoying as I'm not allowed to but if I'm being completely honest if my manager told me to go home due to the heat I wouldn't say no..... but at the same time it woyid never occur to me not to work due to the heat

I don't know about time off, but I do feel that either a shift in working pattern or extra provision are needed for some professions.
For example my DH works in the construction industry, often (and recently in this heat) he has to work in boiler rooms or test and fit heating systems in newly built buildings, temperatures get ridiculously hot and it is manual, energy draining work for him and his colleagues. Lots of heavy lifting etc. Frankly it can be very dangerous.

I noticed in Egypt where high temperatures are common, the construction workers do not start until late evening when it is considerably cooler.

Darkesteyes Fri 19-Jul-13 14:11:13

Just been said on BBCNews24 that it could reach the mid 30s next week.My HA flat has windows that only open about an inch. When they put the windows in in 2004 they insisted on this for H and S reasons.

Karmakoala Fri 19-Jul-13 14:18:24

This is crazy! We work all year round here in temps that often hit higher than 40 in the shade!

Drink plenty, don't sit in direct sunlight and wear sun screen, you'll be fine it's just a bit of pleasant weather!

whatever5 Fri 19-Jul-13 14:43:08

Out of interest, where do you live/work Karmakoala?

crashdoll Fri 19-Jul-13 15:06:21

For people with certain health conditions, this weather can be unbearable. There are 3 of us in my office with health conditions that is exacerbated by the sun. The office windows don't open and the aircon broke. Fortunately, our boss isn't an arse unlike some people here and lets us go home.

Karma that would be the norm for you though, yes? In the UK it is far from the norm, so when this weather does occur, we are ill equipped to deal with it, many offices have windows that do not open, or open a fraction, or no air conditioning because they are listed building/employers have never bothered installing it.

No amount of water will help with those examples, unless they install an employee swimming pool so you can sit in it.

ShellyBoobs Fri 19-Jul-13 15:40:04

whatever5 - are you sure it would be cooler working at home?

I'm working at home but upstairs today as my OH is hogging the downstairs office with a colleague.

It's 32c in the room I'm in!

ShellyBoobs Fri 19-Jul-13 15:43:52

Goldenhandshake - good point regarding changing working hours for your DH.

Wouldn't that mean that he would have to try to sleep during the day though?

I bet nightshift workers are having a bad time at the moment.

dayshiftdoris Fri 19-Jul-13 16:31:27


If the laws existed they would make provision to ensure that temps didn't go above the legal temperature!!! It wouldn't get to a point of downing tools! There would also be a policy in place to allow things like change of uniform / drinks etc...
There is one in place for patients but not staff!

flowery Fri 19-Jul-13 16:48:50

That's not realistic though. Unless the government supply air conditioning units to everyone, they can't force employers to keep temperatures below a certain level. All they can do is introduce sanctions/incentives.

Also f there is a legal maximum temperature for staff to work in and that is exceeded at the workplace, then unless staff could down tools there would be no point having a legal maximum. Guidelines yes, but a firm maximum would be meaningless if employers could still require staff to work if it was exceeded.

And policies in place to allow changes of uniform etc also couldn't be a law, and would need to be guidelines. You can't pass laws that prescriptive about policies specific to employers.

valiumredhead Fri 19-Jul-13 17:02:38

I was born and lived in a med country for years and was never this hot. We aren't set up for it in this country so it affects us when we do get boiling hot weather.

LtEveDallas Fri 19-Jul-13 17:06:53

Yesterday it was 32 degrees inside my office. I was in full uniform, combats, long sleeves, woolly socks and boots. It was bloody horrible. I ended up with the 'one' office fan aimed directly at me, as my civilian colleagues were able to wear cool dresses and flip flops.

My boss took pity on me in the end and told me to wear my own clothes today. Oh the difference was amazing. I get that we can't just down tools when it gets hot, but clothing should be adjusted.

(Oh and I worked in Cyprus for over a year. Working hours were 0600 to 1330, and that was in air-conditioned offices. Hot countries 'get it'. The UK doesn't.

Wuldric Fri 19-Jul-13 17:07:14

AFAIK there is a legal minimum temperature but not a legal maximum.

I think it is absolutely barking to allow people to have time off for hot weather. It's ridiculous. Buy a fan. Drink water. Cope.

valiumredhead Fri 19-Jul-13 17:11:43

Dallas,I agree. Hot countries on the whole cope because air con is standard, or at least sensible clothing and working hours are in place.

livinginwonderland Fri 19-Jul-13 17:43:50

wuldric and what about people who can't do that? People who work in kitchens or out on building sites or in factories where they're surrounded by electronics? Not everyone CAN just put a fan on to escape the heat.

whatever5 Fri 19-Jul-13 18:50:48

ShellyBoobs - yes it is cooler for me at home, mainly because I can work on the ground floor and I have a fan blowing in my face (I am four floors up at work and there aren't enough fans for everyone to have one near them).

whatever5 Fri 19-Jul-13 18:55:43

Wuldric - We aren't allowed to bring fans from home into work. Work can't buy fans as the shops have apparently sold out.

Try working on the fourth floor of a building that is designed to keep heat in rather than out, with no fans or air con and see if you still think it is barking for people to not go to work because of the weather.

MadeOfStarDust Fri 19-Jul-13 19:12:36

I'm originally from a remote northern Scottish island, I now live inland in the South West of England....it is somewhat different from where I was brought up.

I'm finding it bloody hot, unbearably bloody hot - if I had to work in it I honestly believe I would melt into a pool of who-the-f***-cares and die....

I hate this heat, I like the cold...

goodasitgets Fri 19-Jul-13 19:17:05

We've just been given permission to wear our own clothes. Combat trousers, polyester shirt and heavy boots weren't made for this weather!

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 19-Jul-13 19:32:50

I have lived in a hot country, and this is much worse, because you can't escape it.
In most hot places inside is usually much cooler than outside, many places indoors are air conditioned, flats have marble floors and shutters etc.
My workplace has been 40 degrees all week. It has been really hard to breathe, let alone work, we are all pouring sweat and making stupid mistakes.
It's nice, this weather, if you have a car (much cooler than a bus) and work somewhere reasonably cool.
It's not ridiculous to not be able to work in continuous extreme heat.

dayshiftdoris Sat 20-Jul-13 00:43:29


Organisations have to ensure they provide heating to negate low temperatures why shouldnt they be required to do the same for high temperatures?

soontobeburns Sat 20-Jul-13 01:03:44

We where all discussing this work today. Luckly we have brilliant bosses who got extra fans and air con units and ice lollies for the staff from their own pocket.

I signed up for overtime tomorrow but im not going in it is too warm. It also prevents sleeping which makes you worse.

flowery Sat 20-Jul-13 07:06:01

They don't have to provide heating. No one goes round checking every workplace has heating. But here is a minimum temperature in the HSE Approved Code of Practice (not technically law) below which employers generally cannot ask people to work.

There is no way any government would pass a law requiring every workplace to provide air conditioning, that would be ridiculous, completely unenforceable and not worth it for the very few days a year where this is an issue.

You are advocating a legal maximum which is a valid point of view. I was simply pointing out that such a law would not protect you from daft management decisions about uniform, and may have the effect of staff walking out.

Having said that, I don't think you need a legal maximum. Your employer is required to take reasonable steps to ensure your health and safety including mitigating the adverse effects of high temperature, and to me it sounds like they are not doing that. So I think you have a reas

flowery Sat 20-Jul-13 07:06:54

Sorry, I think you have a reasonable complaint on H&S grounds without needing a maximum temperature regulation.

SuiGeneris Sat 20-Jul-13 07:10:51

It's bonkers. It is not 50 C, it is a bit over 30. Lovely weather. Just dress sensibly, stay hydrated, eat properly (fruit, fresh vegetables, not meat and creamy stuff) and be sensible (stay in the shade, close curtains, open windows) and you'll be fine.

Do you really think people in other countries don't go to work when it is a bit warmer? Get a grip.

SuiGeneris Sat 20-Jul-13 07:14:39

And no, aircon and fans are not standard in those countries. More common, yes. But many (most) houses and for example schools do without.

In any event, sadly it is now cold again: typing this from under the duvet...

LtEveDallas Sat 20-Jul-13 07:16:28

...and if you cant 'dress sensibly'?

SuiGeneris Sat 20-Jul-13 07:24:31

You do all the rest and minimise the impact. I wear a suit with tights to work. In this weather I travel without tights, shirt and jacket and put them on when I get there.

LtEveDallas Sat 20-Jul-13 07:36:29

I have no choice in the clothes I wear. The boots and woolly socks alone have meant my feet are in shit state now. Plus the office is half wall windows and we have a choice between open windows but no blinds or blinds with closed windows.

Your blanket 'get a grip' is rather unfair unless everyone has the exact same circumstances as you.

Souredstones Sat 20-Jul-13 07:48:21

We've been granted dress down days for the duration of the heat wave and told we can bring fans in to go alongside the aircon


We are expected to be in work. Which is a totally reasonable request!!

Shutupanddrive Sat 20-Jul-13 07:50:05

It's ridiculous! I work in a bakery/coffee shop and yes it's hot but we just have to get on with it

elQuintoConyo Sat 20-Jul-13 09:21:28

In Seville it's 39°. They drape large pieces of white muslin-y fabric between the buildings in the main shopping district so you don't sunburn going to work/shopping. It's beautiful!
I think the story is a windup. Heat like this doesn't stop Brits getting pissed and burning like lobsters in places like Salou every year!

whatever5 Sat 20-Jul-13 12:42:44

SuiGeneris- air con and fans may not always be standard in hotter countries but building are traditionally designed to stay cooler in hot weather (white thicker walls, small windows, shutters etc).

Buildings in the UK are not usually designed to stay cool in summer. If you do not have air con/fans it will be very very hot especially if you are high up in a building.

valiumredhead Sat 20-Jul-13 13:19:17

The comparison with 'hot countries' is ridiculous. Even my Australian physio was struggling yesterday and we talked about how houses aren't built for the heat in the UK etc.

ComposHat Sat 20-Jul-13 15:49:49

The problem woth thos thread is that it fsils to account fot the facy that Facebook is full of made up bollocks.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 20-Jul-13 16:05:57

I suspect that it started here and has just snowballed (no pun intended)

ReallyTired Sat 20-Jul-13 16:13:19

I find it laughable that Gove wants to get rid of the summer holidays, but then there are suggestions of closing schools in hot whether. Its no wonder that the private sector think that public sector workers are lazy!

Ilovemyself Sun 21-Jul-13 23:28:16

Stop calling it a heat wave people. It's called summer..........

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 07:47:34

It's the hottest day today for 7 days, it's not a usual British summer.

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 07:47:49

Oops.....7 YEARS!

valiumredhead Mon 22-Jul-13 07:54:40

Errr we were on level 2 heat wave, shall we call it summer just for you?hmm wink

Ilovemyself Mon 22-Jul-13 17:44:31

We never had heat wave warnings years ago. People used common sense and got on with it. The trouble is sheeple now need to be told how to react in every situation. And hottest day for 7 years is no big deal. You should be able to remember what you did then.

It's just the typical British way of not being able to cope, just like with snow in winter

God help us if we have a real natural disaster.

HoneyStepMummy Mon 22-Jul-13 17:50:33

These people need to get a grip. I used to work as a flight attendant in Phoenix AZ during 110 F wearing a full uniform. It was so much "fun" boarding a flight where the AC wasn't running on the ground.
People in the Middle East, South America, and Africa seem to manage to work just fine even when the weather is hot.

valiumredhead Mon 22-Jul-13 18:07:08

I'm sure there will be people like you to make sure we're all ok Ilovemyself.

ArgyMargy Mon 22-Jul-13 18:18:13

Absolutely what ilovemyself said. Get a grip, you nesh young'uns ! Bloody ridiculous nonsense. Utterly pathetic makes me ashamed to be British. (Except construction workers etc. Nurses just bloody well have a drink and open some of those fecking windows)

LtEveDallas Mon 22-Jul-13 18:46:45

I used to work as a flight attendant in Phoenix AZ during 110 F wearing a full uniform Skirt and blouse I take it? How long does it take to board a flight as a matter of interest?

People in the Middle East, South America, and Africa seem to manage to work just fine even when the weather is hot

Well yes. People that are live there and are acclimatised. People in the UK aren't, is this really that hard to understand?

MadeOfStarDust Mon 22-Jul-13 18:53:14

some of us are from more northern climes (Orkney/Shetland etc) where the temperature going above 22 is "an event" - when we move to more southern climes, we feel the heat somewhat... and go purple and sweaty and feel sick..

Ilovemyself Mon 22-Jul-13 19:42:27

Valiumredhead. Can't you think for yourself and use common sense. We shouldn't have to look out for each other as we should all have the common sense to dress sensibly, take extra water, use sun block and all the other things that sensible people can do without bleating and saying we can't cope.

LtEveDallas. We had a day nearly this hot 7 years ago. And the stupid bleatwave warnings seem to be happening more frequently so sheeple should be learning what to do.

I guess the basics are that people don't have common sense any more, can't be bothered to google what to do if its hot, and want to blame someone else if the get it wrong.

valiumredhead Mon 22-Jul-13 19:48:50

I was being sarcastic not literal.

Born and lived in hot country for years. Plenty of common sense when it comes to small children having been a nanny and teacher for years, that's why I'm constantly amazed when people say daft things like 'it's the summer' when it's nothing like our normal summers.

Ilovemyself Mon 22-Jul-13 19:54:29

But valium. Anyone with an ounce of common sense should know what to do in the sun. And we shouldn't need the government to tell us what to do. It doesn't matter if it is a normal summer or not - it is hardly the middle of Death Valley.

LtEveDallas Mon 22-Jul-13 19:56:48

We should all have the common sense to dress sensibly, take extra water, use sun block and all the other things that sensible people can do without bleating and saying we can't cope

And if we can't dress sensibly? I mean, what are you wearing today?

LtEveDallas. We had a day nearly this hot 7 years ago. It hasn't dropped below 32 degrees in my place of work for 2 weeks now, so it's not just one day.

valiumredhead Mon 22-Jul-13 20:00:21

Even if you cover up, use cream, wear a hat and drink gallons you can still be very affected by the heat.

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 20:03:00

I've also lived in far hotter climes than this. It's alright for you super people who can cope with 600 degree weathers but the elderly, young and ill are at risk. Do you go around bleating that people in Russia cope with far colder Winters when you see posters about checking on elderly people in cold weather?

Catmint Mon 22-Jul-13 20:04:59

What utter tosh!

So the government are going to unilaterally make this decision on behalf of thousands of employers, and presumably compensate them for lost work days as well, are they?

This is most likely someone massively misinterpreting health and safety law.

(Some people will believe anything emoticon) .

Ilovemyself Mon 22-Jul-13 20:06:02

Jeez. Some people. I was wearing a suit as I was at a funeral. But I then changed when I could, drank plenty of fluids, and stayed in the shade when I could. what were you wearing and why can't you cool your work area down.

In my current job we are not allowed to wear shorts, there are no fans, and it can get into the 30's. I don't bleat though, I get on with my job and I haven't been ill through it yet.

And in a previous job I had to work in a hot environment, as much of the job involved hot work. I simply made sure I had enough fluids, took breaks when able, and got a fan.

What on earth do people think foundry workers or chefs do when thy work with high temperatures.

Get a fan and drink plenty, I am sure you will be fine..........

Ilovemyself Mon 22-Jul-13 20:11:30

FFS crash doll. Yes there are those that are at risk. But for children their parents should be capable. And for the ill and elderly one would hope they have carers or family to assist. Funnily enough this is what life is like when it isn't hot!

It is the people that can't seem to look after themselves in their office or shop or place of work that are the issue. They COULD deal with it of they wanted quite easily but instead want time off!

valiumredhead Mon 22-Jul-13 20:14:53

Do you honestly think that if people just drink enough and use a fan they will be fine? Some people will, many won't.

Ilovemyself Mon 22-Jul-13 20:23:18

Valiumredhead. I am talking about myself as I take responsibility for my actions - unlike many people here who would rather live in some nanny state and be told what to do every step of the way. The last comment should work for most as I guess they are not working in direct sunlight, of course with the addition of sensible salts etc. But I guess people don't have the sense to go to a pharmacy and ask a simple question.

I guess you don't think people should be responsible for their own health and actions.

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 20:26:09

You don't need to FFS me. hmm In your little happy life, you might not realise but there are lots of uneducated people who do need advice. And as for the ill and elderly having carers, I am laughing all the way back to my office as social services. I wish there was the support out there. There isn't, hence why most local authorities have policies for very hot and very cold weather.

Ilovemyself Mon 22-Jul-13 20:34:26

Come on crash doll. No need to say i have a happy little life. i said I am on about those that can't be bothered to help themselves. And in my town we look out for our neighbours thank you very much.

And what do you mean by uneducated? Are we really a nation that can't think for ourselves?

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 20:38:38

I mean people who are illiterate and/or innumerate or have language difficulties. The government issuing advice means I can do my job and help people who cannot help themselves - children, older adults and ill people. I can't see that the govt issuing the warning will help those who don't want to help themselves, only those who can't.

Ilovemyself Mon 22-Jul-13 20:42:40

I never said those that can't help them selves crash doll. I guess we are arguing from the same said lol

LtEveDallas Mon 22-Jul-13 20:57:55

I said earlier what I have to wear ilovemyself. Unfortunately wearing less or wearing something more appropriate is not an option.

We have a limited number of fans at work and we are not allowed to bring more in from home. We don't have AirCon. We have a choice of sunlight blazing in the windows and having them open, or having the blinds down and keeping windows closed.

It's unfair to assume that other working people can do what you can. Some of us have no choice and so the weather does affect us.

susiedaisy Mon 22-Jul-13 21:02:59

No we don't need to stay at home but we do need employers to provide adequate facilities to cope with the heat, such as air con or fans, cool drinking water, proper breaks, summer uniform or summer dress code etc etc IMO

valiumredhead Mon 22-Jul-13 21:04:09

Interesting how there would be uproar if offices/work places were freezing cold with no heating.

HoneyStepMummy Mon 22-Jul-13 21:05:19

Skirt and blouse I take it? How long does it take to board a flight as a matter of interest?

No, my uniform was a dark blue wool-poly blend mix dress and black tights. The same lovely number I wore in wintertime in Canada and Summers in the desert.
It took 30 minutes to board a 737 or an Airbus 320. 40 minutes to board a 757. Mind you, I sometimes worked the Las Vegas - Phoenix shuttle all day and would sometimes board 5 flights a day on a toasty plane that had been sitting on the runway getting nice and toasty.
This was of course after walking thorough the employee parking lot in my fetching uniform with my crew bags and waiting in the sun for the employee shuttle. Good times! We used to either wear cotton vests under our uniforms or apply deodorant to our backs so not to be dripping wet. However the baggage handlers had it so much worse- they would have to unload and load bags in the midday sun in the 110F heat. I used to push cold drinks and ice on them.
I don't find anything on this thread hard to understand. I have both lived in, worked in and visited countries that have been either very hot or very cold. I grumbled a bit and dealt with it- I certainly don't need to take the day off because it's 89 F.

RedToothBrush Mon 22-Jul-13 21:07:07

You don't have to stop working. Just make sure you look after yourself when you are working and employers need to respect this and any obligation in law needs to state this, not stop people working. Life goes on regardless of the weather!

We do not have to stop working. The suggestion is one from workshy wimpy muppets who don't have a clue about life.

I'm about as prone to sunburning and sunstroke as you can get. The trick is to prepare; dress appropriately and take on lots of fluids. That does not mean wearing as few clothes as possible - it can actually mean covering up!

I also amazingly have survived working in Sydney for a summer, with my good old British genes and lack of acclimatisation. My family history has a lovely combination of deepest darkest peak district, the compulsory Irish connection and the deepest darkest highlands of Scotland with proper kilt wearing and Mel Gibson impressions galore.

I survived, amazingly, without air conditioning in my flat as we couldn't afford it, and it was broken at work.

And that was at least another 10C on top of what we have going on here.

As much as I don't like the weather at the moment, I echo everyone saying ITS NOT REALLY THAT HOT. Do you remember 7 years ago when it was hitting 38C?

Ilovemyself Mon 22-Jul-13 21:12:46

LtEveDallas. Woollen socks and boots? What do you do? PM me if you want it private as I am really intrigued!

My point is that some people work in this day in day out, like foundry workers. They manage so most of us should be able to for a few weeks a year.

Ilovemyself Mon 22-Jul-13 21:14:13

What red toothbrush said

LtEveDallas Mon 22-Jul-13 21:49:01

Ilovemyself, I'm a soldier, so changing my uniform is not an option sadly. I'm actually breaking the rules at the moment because I'm not wearing a t shirt under my heavy shirt/jacket. It was just too much.

It's daft really, because these days all my work is office based, so you think they'd design a more suitable uniform. But the cost cutting means that all the acceptable options (including a summer dress, or skirt/trousers and shirt, or desert combats that are thinner) were withdrawn, for one uniform to be worn by all, in all situations. 9 hours a day wearing all that is bloody killing me and my feet are a disaster area.

If I was back in Cyprus my working hours would be reduced to 0600 to 1330 and my office would have fans/AirCon. Temperatures are similar, but working conditions much different.

So I feel for others that are struggling at the moment. I'm not saying we need to give people days off work - that would be daft, but employers should be made to ensure that working spaces are as comfortable as possible - and if that means spending so money, so be it.

Ilovemyself Mon 22-Jul-13 23:13:22

Ah, so you are a pongo. Lol. (Sorry, Ex RN)

I agree that in the services they can be a little too unforgiving. It's not like you are in training ( when I think you just need to go with it as war doesn't stop for weather)

Perhaps tropical kit should be worn. I am sure the whites would be very fetching lol.

But the military is different to an office job - you don't sign up,to serve 21 years in a normal job. On the flip side, most companies will be scared of litigation and will work with you if necessary.

LtEveDallas Tue 23-Jul-13 10:18:07

'Pongo' grin. Crikey, it's years since I've heard that!

Aye, I'm not really concerned about myself, knew what I was getting into and so on, but I think it should be incumbent on employers to plan for circumstances such as the last couple of weeks.

If we were a typically warm country then I'm sure there would be systems in place, but that shouldn't excuse companies from making sure their employees are comfortable at work, hot or cold. I mean if we are talking about people on the 'shop floor' so to speak, you can bet your last dollar that their bosses aren't suffering in the way their mere 'minions' are - the bosses won't be fighting over the last fan will they?

Just because you (the collective you, not aimed at Ilovemyself specifically) can cope, it doesn't mean that everyone else can. So I think employers should be 'forced' to put plans in place, no matter who they are or what type of business they are in.

extremepie Tue 23-Jul-13 10:59:33

Well I'd be screwed if that rule cams in, I'm a chef and the temp in the kitchen at the moment is about 42 - that's with the industrial extractors and fans going full whack! Wearing a massive great long sleeved chef jacket and hat sad

It's bloody hot in there but we just about manage, although every now and then I do go and stand in the walk in fridge to cool off :D

KellyElly Tue 23-Jul-13 11:19:42

I do think schools need some kind of contingency for this weather. My DD's nursery (attached to a school) is so hot that quite a few of the children have been suffering mild heatstroke. DD was sick yesterday even though she was in light clothing, sunscreen, hat, given lots of water before and after nursery. Some small children really do suffer in this weather no matter what you do.

Ilovemyself Tue 23-Jul-13 19:03:18

LtEveDallas. I have shown my age with the pongo comment lol.

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 23-Jul-13 19:49:35


What provision can schools provide?

All the fans that where bought last year are in use or broken, there are classrooms that only have windows on one side and they only open 3 - 4 inches.

KellyElly Wed 24-Jul-13 10:02:21

BoneyBackJefferson Well it would be down to the individual school obviously. If it's so hot that children are getting heatstroke then they would have to close - same as in adverse cold weather conditions. If there is a shaded area outside, then lessons could take place out there, ensuing children kept constantly hydrated etc, looking at an a/c unit in the classrooms where very young children (nursery/reception) are taught as the lower your body weight the more prone you are to dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heat stroke can cause organ failure so it's a pretty serious thing to take into account.

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 24-Jul-13 17:09:00


If it's so hot that children are getting heatstroke then they would have to close

Leaving them open to the lazy teachers complaints.

If there is a shaded area outside, then lessons could take place out there

only if its a school with a very small intake.

looking at an a/c unit in the classrooms

Where will the money come from, small schools no budget, large schools to much expenditure.

Lupamonkey Wed 24-Jul-13 17:10:36

My god there are some selfish "Get a grip, it's called Summer" attitudes about this on here!

Personally I'm all for the maximum temp being set at 30 degrees, so it will force employers to take responsibility for the welfare of their workers.

I expect my employer to take reasonable steps to make my time in work physically comfortable while I do their work for them. I should be able to expect to work in conditions where I do not have dizzy spells, headaches, nausea or have to spend the day in permanently damp clothes from excessive sweating. These are all symptoms of heat exhaustion, and just because YOU are not experiencing these unpleasant symptoms, it doesn't mean that your colleague sat opposite isn't.

If my employer can not or will not provide the means to drop the temperature using portable air con units, which can be hired for a short period, then it is not unreasonable for me to expect to go home early so that I personally avoid getting heat exhaustion. So please stop telling me to 'get a grip' and 'get on with it'. I'm not you, you are not me, we do not function or suffer in the same way. I suffer in the heat whereas some people suffer in the cold. We don't tell people suffering from hypothermia or frostbite to get a grip do we?

Also the unbearable humidity we suffer in this country can not be compared with the dry heat in the hotter countries you guys have been talking about. We are ill equipped to deal with that sort of discomfort without assistance.

ArgyMargy Wed 24-Jul-13 18:07:11

Lupa I would be happy to send you home and dock your wages.

Darkesteyes Wed 24-Jul-13 18:18:10

Argy i would be going into the toilets to the sinks and pouring cold water over my head and sitting in the office dripping wet if thats what it took to cool me down
My IBS is also worse in the hot weather. We are humans NOT fucking computers or machines.

Lupamonkey Wed 24-Jul-13 21:16:57

No need for that Argy, some people really suffer and it's up to employers to make sure they don't. No-one's looking to skive off, just to be comfortable in work. What's the problem with that? Or have you no compassion?

RedToothBrush Wed 24-Jul-13 22:01:04

We are humans NOT fucking computers or machines.

Humans that have survived a wide range of climates and weather conditions for thousands of years though being sensible and respecting it and learning to adapt to it, rather than just going any lying in a corner until it changes. We just don't respect the weather in this country - that does not mean air-con, nor does it mean that our climate is so changeable that its impossible to adapt. It just means we are ill educated.

Japan has a pretty similar climate and is prone to a variety of extremes of weather that are worst than our own. But we have cultural attitudes where sitting out in the full heat of the sun is almost actively encouraged, having a face that looks like a dead cow hide is viewed as attractive and we don't have a culture of making sure we do things like take on enough water... and its not acceptable to employers to allow people to take this into account. The reverse is true in the winter. How many girls wear next to nothing when out on the town and refuse to take a coat even in sub-zero temps.

Its our culture that is wrong, not the level of heat.

Besides, I think you'll find that without its own internal fan system a computer who die from the heat a lot sooner than a human.

Ilovemyself Wed 24-Jul-13 22:13:28

Lupamonkey. Your attitude shows just what is wrong with work shy Brits today

valiumredhead Wed 24-Jul-13 22:26:32

I agree lupa.

Exactly the same as if the work place was freezing in the winter due to no heating. There would be uproar.

Ilovemyself Wed 24-Jul-13 22:32:08

BTW Lupa. How do you propose you deal with those whose work is hot by its very nature? Or do you think that only office workers deserve this?

ArgyMargy Wed 24-Jul-13 22:56:34

What Ilovemyself said, absolutely. And I have compassion in spades, for those who need it.

Lupamonkey Wed 24-Jul-13 23:32:01

Ilovemyself, that flippant remark was a little presumptuous of you to say the least. I don't have an attitude, nor am I 'work shy'. I look out for workers' welfare. Too many employers are irresponsible and shirk their duty of care.

And I don't intend to deal with those whose work is hot by it's very nature. It is up to the employer to make sure their workers do not collapse from heat so that they can make a profit.

ArgyMargy compassion should be shown to those who are suffering through neglect. It's about priorities.

Ilovemyself Wed 24-Jul-13 23:35:27

Lupa. Too many people are using the temperature as a reason to want to go home. And as an employee you have an equal responsibility to look after your own safety.

You sound just like the union leaders of the 70's who ruined this once great country.

Everybody out.................

extremepie Wed 24-Jul-13 23:38:50

So what should an employer of people who work in kitchens do to make for a more comfortable working environment?

Ilovemyself Thu 25-Jul-13 06:53:27

Extremepie. It seems that it is only those that work in an office that are complaining as they have no answer for other environments. That figures.

And yes, I do work in an office.

Altinkum Thu 25-Jul-13 08:10:55

I'm all for this, having suffered from heat exhaustion for te past two days, due to working in 33c heat and having mini panick attacks has been absolute hell.

I work in a extremely busy cafe/rest with no air con, (as they use too much electricity for what they have so are constantly going into power cuts) this week I've been I'll after shifts, and also passed out, and that's not just me a few other members of stuff have done so also.

This will be more than welcome in our work place.

FasterStronger Thu 25-Jul-13 08:49:29

if above 30 degrees is so unpleasant, why do people go to hotter countries in the summer? and frequently lie in the sun...?

MadeOfStarDust Thu 25-Jul-13 08:59:30

Some of us choose not to do holiday in the sun because it would be our idea of hell...

Altinkum Thu 25-Jul-13 09:01:15

Because you have breeze, air con, a chance to go somewhere else to cool down, get a drink.

The heat abroad is NOTHING like this heat, I'm asthmatic, I'm finding it hard to breathe as the air is so thick, it's humid, sticky, and leaves you feeling exhausted, and that's just the normal air, then double that with industrial ovens, hot plates, etc....

The UK heat is nothing like te heat abroad.

MadeOfStarDust Thu 25-Jul-13 09:31:02

and we go to hotter countries in the summer ON HOLIDAY...

anyone care to join me - was crawling round roof spaces last week rewiring a house.... it was hot - BEYOND belief hot - so hot the sweat was running down my face and dribbling off my chin - that hot...

strangely enough I do not want to do that too often...

SuffolkNWhat Thu 25-Jul-13 09:41:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KellyElly Thu 25-Jul-13 10:24:53

BoneyBackJefferson As I said, it's down to the individual school. I'm not quite sure why you are trying to argue the points with me. If a young child got seriously ill because of heat stroke the 'lazy teacher comments', 'lack of funding' etc would all be irrelevant really. When very young children are being sick from the temperature in a school something has to be done about it.

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 25-Jul-13 10:52:40

"I'm not quite sure why you are trying to argue the points with me."

Its a discussion forum its what we do on them.

"When very young children are being sick from the temperature in a school something has to be done about it."

I agree but the suggestions you made would not work, Its very easy to say that something should be done but it has to be a workable solution.

KellyElly Thu 25-Jul-13 11:35:53

BoneyBackJefferson Hence why I don't work in management of schools. As I keep saying it's down to the individual school. Yes, it's a discussion forum but jumping on a point where someone says schools need a contingency plan when very young children are getting heat stroke seems a bit argumentative to be fair. I did not at any point say I had the solutions.

Crinkle77 Thu 25-Jul-13 12:12:30

I think it is a load of nonsense myself but it also depends on what you class as essential. The country can't grind to a halt because it is hot. It is essential to the business owner that things get done otherwise they might not be able to pay wages to the staff. I think people would moan then wouldn't they?

Lupamonkey Thu 25-Jul-13 13:20:04

Not to worry folks, no-one's going to shout "Everybody out" or the country grind to a halt, cos once they make the max temperature law, employers will do the right thing and cool down their workplaces. They are all lovely caring and considerate employers who realise that a happy team is a productive team. Simples wink

I for one do not take holidays in hot countries (not that I can afford to take holidays). Norway sounds quite nice right now. I'm definately a winter person.

Ilovemyself Thu 25-Jul-13 13:49:54

Ok Lupa. You haven't answered the question about places of hot work. How can they introduce a law when in some cases it would be impossible to get the temperature below 30c. Foundries, glass blowing, many kitchens. They are all places where the law if made cannot work.

And yes the everybody out mentality is still there with your comment that employers will start to do their bit once the law changes. And some companies will be really screwed. Small companies that cannot afford even a small investment. But the I'm alright brigade won't care as the big bad employer will be held to book.

Lupamonkey Thu 25-Jul-13 14:19:31

I did answer your question Ilovemyself, I said it's not for me to work that out. They have a legal minimum temperature and yet people work in refridgerated units. Whatever provisions are in place for those businesses, then this can be used for those working at the other end of the thermometer.

I blame your attitude of not caring less about the employees' health and welfare which call for these rules in the first place.

I had to spend 10 minutes drying out my sweaty clothes this morning after working in a particularly wretched hot filing room. Luckily I had brought a spare of undies with me. Maybe that 10 minutes ought to be docked out of my pay? I've more of that shite to look forward to after lunch. Lucky me, can't wait until I pass out.

Darkesteyes Thu 25-Jul-13 14:50:09

Lupa i share your pain. I live in an HA flat. Back in 2004 they put new windows in and because of H and S they only open an inch.
I prefer the winter too. I love my punchy coloured winter coats. I do style much better in winter.
Definately a winter/Christmas girl me.

Darkesteyes Thu 25-Jul-13 14:51:14

Having to bring spare clothes with you shows how ridiculous it is.

Ilovemyself Thu 25-Jul-13 20:05:57

Oh Lupa. I have never said I don't care about employee rights. Just that employees need to share the burden.

Like I said, you don't give a monkeys about those that have to work in it all year round, just those office staff that almost certainly have the chance to get up, have a drink, and move around a lot more than some.

valiumredhead Thu 25-Jul-13 20:21:37

Dark, do they not have the clip things at the side so they can open up fully? That's what we have, they're easy to miss.

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