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How Cold Does It Need To Be For A Day Off Work?

It's a question that most of us ask when it's winter and we're stuck in the office - how cold does it have to be before we get sent home?

Even if the heating is on in the office, you still end up sat there with a heated mouse pad, jacket and foot warmer.

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While there isn't actually a strict legal maximum or minimum temperature for your office, there are health and safety guidelines on how cold it can get before you're sent home from work in England and Scotland.

You can only wear so many layers at work. (Credit: Pexels)
You can only wear so many layers at work. (Credit: Pexels)

According to the Health and Safety Executive, they advise that the temperature in your office shouldn't be below 16C.

It says: "The Approved Code of Practice suggests the minimum temperature in a workplace should normally be at least 16 degrees Celsius.

"If the work involves rigorous physical effort, the temperature should be at least 13 degrees Celsius. These temperatures are not absolute legal requirements; the employer has a duty to determine what reasonable comfort will be in the particular circumstances."

There is no legal temperature limit that would allow you to be sent home. (Credit: UnSplash)
There is no legal temperature limit that would allow you to be sent home. (Credit: UnSplash)

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Additionally the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states that "during working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable."

This can change through depending on the nature of the work being undertaken - "the application of the regulation depends on the nature of the workplace, such as a bakery, a cold store, an office, a warehouse."

Although there is no legal limit employers are responsible for keeping the office warm enough for workers. (Credit: Pexels)
Although there is no legal limit employers are responsible for keeping the office warm enough for workers. (Credit: Pexels)

If you work outside there is also no legal minimum temperature but employers are expected to carry out risk assessments to make sure their employers are warm enough.

They should be bringing in ways to reduce the affect of the cold such as job rotation, more regular breaks and cold weather clothing.

The availability of a thermometer is also required by law, so that workers can check the temperature in any workplace inside the building.

Featured Image Credit: NBC/Parks and Recreation

Topics: Life, Life News, Real

Bethany Gleave

Bethany Gleave is a Freelance Journalist at PRETTY52 and joined the team in 2018. She is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, and started her career at a national press agency, writing breaking and trending news for the national newspapers.

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