Offices urged to let staff wear shorts and vest tops at work during the heatwave

Office bosses have been urged to let their staff wear shorts at work to help them cope with the heatwave.

The TUC suggested relaxing dress codes, allowing staff to work flexible hours to avoid travelling in the rush hour and keeping offices cool by providing fans and cold drinks.

Staff are not expected to work when the temperature drops below 16C – or 13C if they are do physically demanding work, but there are no restrictions for when the workplace becomes too hot.

The TUC has been campaigning for a change in the law to introduce a new maximum indoor temperature of 30C, or 27C for those doing strenuous jobs.

General secretary Frances O’Grady said: "It’s no fun working in a baking office or factory and employers should do all they can to take the temperature down.

"The most simple way for staff to keep cool inside when it’s scorching outside is being able to work in more casual clothing.

"While shorts and vest tops may not be appropriate for all, nobody should be made to wilt in the heat for the sake of keeping up appearances.

"Bosses who provide a cool and comfortable work environment are going to get more out of their staff.

"Workers who are unable to dress down in more appropriate summer clothing, or who work in offices without air-conditioning, fans or a plentiful supply of cool drinking water, are going to feel lethargic, and lack inspiration and creativity."

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