When it comes to winter in some places, the low temperatures aren’t that surprising. The UK’s climate for instance, where typical temperatures for winter are usually between 2 and 10°C. But, meteorologists predict that they could be looking at their worst winter in five years. The temperature has already reached -10C in some areas of the country. There is one question that pops up in situations like this;
How cold does it have to be so people can have a day off?
Even though, there isn’t a specific law that states how cold is too cold, the government suggests a minimum of 16C, or 13C if employees are doing physical work. Also, as a part of the health and safety law, all employers are required to provide a room with clean and fresh air and to keep the temperature at a comfortable level.
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The Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states that “during working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable.” However, what’s considered reasonable temperature in a bakery is not the same as in a bank office. All of the employees should be mindful of this.
The temperature will depend on the nature of the job and also on the environmental conditions of the workplace.
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A spokesperson for union Unite told Ladbible: “When working indoors, employers should ensure that the temperature does not fall below 16 degrees centigrade. If you are undertaking very physical work, the temperature should not be below 13 degrees centigrade. There is currently no maximum temperature, which is an issue that Unite has long campaigned to have introduced in order to better protect the workforce. There are currently no rules for a minimum outdoor working temperature; however your employer must make modifications to protect your health. This includes supplying suitable protective clothing, introducing more regular rest breaks to allow a worker to regain warmth, providing mobile facilities and warm drinks to help workers stay warm, and educating workers on cold stress and hypothermia.”