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the july heatwave 2019

polkadotfrog recruitment have reinforced the TUC’s advice that employers should allow flexible working conditions and to keep workplaces cool as temperatures are predicted to nudge 39°C at some locations in East Anglia today during this sweltering July heatwave.

The trade union body, TUC, has asked bosses to allow staff to work at different times of the day or from home, so they can avoid the sweltering and unpleasant conditions of the rush hour commute.

Greater Anglia have advised passengers not to travel (image source: Daily Express)

Adding to this disarray certain regional transport providers like Greater Anglia are warning of ‘train cancellations and delays due to “exceptionally” hot weather today’, so commuters are advised to check the availability of trains before returning home tonight.

The TUC’s regional secretary for the East of England, Sam Gurney, said: “It’s about looking genuinely at when the work needs to be done, maybe so people can start earlier or finish later and take more breaks in the middle part of the day when temperatures are at their highest.”

polkadotfrog have requested that companies consider taking simple steps to keep offices cool, such as opening windows, using fans and moving staff away from windows. Additionally, it was suggested, temporarily relaxing strict workplace dress codes, so people are able to remove ties and jackets and wear more casual, lightweight clothes whilst temperatures are soaring.

“Most of this is about using common sense, being flexible and people talking to each other about what will help,” continued Mr Gurney.

“It is in everyone’s interest to co-operate and talk to each other – I’ve been sitting in a meeting today and it’s been sweltering. It [the heat] needs to be taken into account and dealt with in a practical way.”

Although temperatures are expected to drop by the weekend, Mr Gurney says the lessons learnt during this hot spell might lead to businesses reflecting on their working arrangements.

Productivity

“This weather is not going to last forever,” he continued, “but people might take lessons from the benefits of flexible working.

“Flexible working works both ways – it’s not all on the side of the employee. It can benefit employees who have caring responsibilities and help with work-life balance and all the studies show that with good flexible working arrangements productivity goes up and the workforce is happier.”

Mr Gurney added that the hot weather is also a particular problem in East Anglia for people working outside in agriculture, adding that employers should make sure workers in the field have adequate provisions of water and shade and recognise the symptoms of heatstroke.

Unfortunately, there is no law referring to minimum or maximum tempretures at work, according to the government website, so you better put your buckets and spades away if you’re dreaming of a day off by the beach. However, polkadotfrog does advice taking precautions at work to ensure you’re comfortable and not at risk of overheating during the July heatwave.