With temperatures soaring across Scotland, Labour is announcing a ‘maximum workplace temperature’ that will protect workers and force bosses to introduce effective temperature controls.
Most workers in the UK have no legal safeguards protecting them from working during uncomfortably high temperatures or dangerous extreme heat. The current guidance states a minimum working temperature but does not include an upper limit.
The changes could mean all of Scotland’s 2.695million workers stay cool when temperatures soar
Under Labour’s plan:
· If the indoor workplace temperature goes over 30 degree Celsius (27 degrees Celsius for those doing strenuous work), employers will have to put in place effective temperature controls to help workers keep cool.
· These would include measures that many good employers already take: flexible working and travel arrangements, extra breaks, access to water, cooling systems/air conditioning, flexible dress codes or the provision of protective clothing.
· Labour will task our proposed Royal Commission on Health and Safety at Work with bringing forward realistic proposals to protect all workers – including all outdoor workers – from extreme or uncomfortable temperatures at work.
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Lesley Laird MP, said: “As we’re all being reminded this week, working in hot conditions is really uncomfortable, often stressful and it makes us less productive and even ill. Plus it’s often the lowest paid and most insecure workers who suffer the most.
“That’s why the next Labour government will demand that employers look after the needs of their workers during heatwaves like this. We believe everyone should have the right to basic protections from working in unbearably hot conditions.
“Climate change is already making our shops, offices, call-centres and other workplaces too hot, and it’s also threatening the safety and health of old people, babies and many others. That’s why Labour will ensure 60 per cent of the UK’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2030.
“But in the meantime we’ll also ensure no one has to endure high temperatures at work.
“Boris Johnson has a record of supporting a race to the bottom on worker’s rights, however stressful and uncomfortable that makes a workplace. In contrast, Labour believes in protecting employees. We will roll back four decades of free market consensus, putting workers in control, whether it’s on bargaining rights or workplace temperatures.”