When is it too cold to go to work or get sent home from school? – The Sun
20th January 2020
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SNOW could still be on the cards in the UK this winter as we aren't out of the woods just yet.

But when does it become too cold to go to work and what are you rights to taking a day off? Here's what we know.

When is it too cold to go to work?

There's no law for minimum or maximum working temperatures.

If it is safe and reasonable to travel to work then you should go, but if you don't believe it is safe then you should contact your employer and consult with your company handbook.

Employers  are not required to pay employees if they cannot get to work because of bad weather, according to government rights.

In the workplace, the mercury shouldn't dip below 16C and employers should try to increase temperature in the office or workplace.

The Workplace Regulations, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states employers should "assess risks to health and safety and act where necessary (i.e. if the workplace temperature drops below the minimum guideline or if it is felt the temperature is too high)."

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 state: "During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable."

How cold does it have to get in order to be sent home?

There isn't a set temperature where employers have to send their employees home because it's too cold.

However, they should be able to provide regular breaks and plenty of opportunities to drink a hot drink.
In addition, it's the employer's responsibility to ensure that the workplace has additional heating if the temperatures do get too cold.

Employers are recommended to include flexible working hours or rotas to help reduce the effects of a cold snap, but don't have to.

Kate Palmer, head of advisory at employment law consultancy Peninsula, told The Sun Online an employer has no obligation to pay an employee if they fail to turn up for work because:

  1. The weather is bad
  2. Public transport is not running
  3. Hours missed if they turn up late

What's the minimum temperature for schools to close?

The minimum temperatures that must be maintained in a school classroom has been set by the Education School Premises Regulations 1999.

Classrooms must reach a minimum of 18C and is must be maintained while the room is in use.

In ares of high activity like the gym the minimum temperature should be at 15C and in rooms with lower activity the minimum is 21C.

But Ms Palmer said employees do not have a statutory right to be paid in the event that they have an emergency day off with their children.

But if their school is shutdown, the employee would be entitled to unpaid time off for dependants to look after the children.

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