UK weather: How cold does it have to be for schools and offices to close?

31 January 2019, 15:05 | Updated: 1 February 2019, 12:44

A Virgin Train makes its way through snow towards London
A Virgin Train makes its way through snow towards London. Picture: PA

With snow forecasts across the country many are pining for a day off work or school. But how cold does it have to be for places to close entirely?

Snow is about to engulf the UK and school children everywhere will be praying for school closures.

But aside from transport network failures closing schools and workplaces - how COLD does it have to be before you're not allowed to work or study?

Read more: Have a look at these incredible snow pictures from around the world

Snowy phone boxes in the Scottish Highlands
Snowy phone boxes in the Scottish Highlands. Picture: PA

If you're sick of shivering at your desk and wearing gloves just so you can type then you might have a leg to stand on in terms of clocking off for the day because of low temperatures.

Employers across the UK must follow a strict set of rules for when the cold weather kicks in and if they don't adhere to them then you can pop that out of office on.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations from 1992 place a legal obligation on employers to provide a 'reasonable' temperature in the workplace.


The minimum temperature should usually be at least 16 degrees Celsuis or 13 degrees Celsius if it involves physical effort however it's worth noting that these exact temperatures aren't legal requirements.

But employers must do what they can to bring the temperature back up or it could be home time for you!