WITH many workplaces sweltering as the temperature nudges into the 30s today, can it ever be so hot at work that you are allowed to go home?

The law does not set any maximum temperature in the workplace, but says temperatures in indoor workplaces must be 'reasonable'.

But an employer who believes happy staff are productive might want to go further than the law requires.

Sally-Ann Hall Jones, chief executive of Reality HR, said: “While it’s an urban myth that there is a legal ‘maximum temperature’ that a workplace should be, employers are obliged to make sure working conditions are reasonable.

“In many cases – particularly for employees who work outside, or in offices that suffer from a lack of air conditioning or poor ventilation – there are simple common sense steps that can be taken to ensure staff stay comfortable and safe.”

Top tips for employers when there's a heatwave

HR experts suggest you can minimise the impact of heat by:

  • Relaxing dress codes
  • Rroviding fans and ensuring air conditioning is well maintained
  • Reward staff with ice creams or cold drinks
  • Be flexible about working hours – start earlier and finish earlier

Recruitments experts also say while staff can't go home due to the heat unless authorised by their employer to do so, they should raise any concerns with their managers.

And if staff are feeling ill, this needs to be treated like any other sickness absence.

Carolyn Freeman, a consumer behaviourist, psychologist and counsellor, added: “I think an employer should treat their employees in the same way they would treat a guest in their homes.

"People generally like to stay somewhere where they are appreciated and looked after – heatwave or no heatwave.”