How hot is too hot to work and what is the maximum legal temperature before you get sent home?

1 July 2019, 13:14

With UK temperatures rising, how hot is too hot to work?
With UK temperatures rising, how hot is too hot to work? Picture: Getty

As temperatures soar in the UK, we take a look at whether employees are entitled to go home if the office gets too hot.

It's rare that Brits are graced with sunshine - but when there is a heatwave, sitting in a sweltering office can be an absolute nightmare.

But what is the law when it comes to workplace temperature? We reveal all...

How hot is deemed too hot to work?

While there is advice on the minimum temperature, there is no guidance in place for a maximum temperature.

The government's official guidelines state "during working hours the temperature in all indoors workplaces must be reasonable."

Having said that, employers must adhere to the health and safety at work law, which states temperatures must be kept at a comfortable level and they must provide fresh, clean air for workers.

Can I get sent home if it gets too hot at work?

According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), a maximum legal temperature of 30C should be set by companies and employers, but they should also still aim to keep temperatures below 24C.

If employees have issues with the temperature of their workplace, they are advised to take it up with their employer. Employers should then carry out a risk assessment to determine whether working conditions are uncomfortable or not.

The HSE states that there are six factors that must be taken into consideration when assessing whether or not the workplace is a safe temperature for workers; they include air temperature, radiant temperature, air velocity, humidity, the clothing worn by employees and the average rate at which they work.