This is the law on getting days off work if it’s too cold – YOUR rights


The mercury continues to plunge across Birmingham.

There’s about a 50 per cent chance of getting some proper snow in Birmingham between now and Christmas.

That’s according to a new analysis of weather trends in the city over the past 10 years.

In every year except two – 2013 and 2016 – there was at least some snow recorded at Birmingham Airport between October and December.

But on a lot of those ‘snowy’ days the snow fell as a mixture of rain and hail.

On five of the 10 years we had ‘proper’ snow falling at least once between October and December.

But can you get a day off work?

We reveal your rights below.

How cold is too cold, then?

Employers are responsible for ensuring the thermometer is “reasonable” inside the workplace.

According to the Workplace Regulations, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999: “Employers are obliged to assess risks to health and safety – act where necessary (i.e. if the workplace drops below the minimum guideline or if it is felt the temperature is too high).”

In fact, the mercury should fall no lower than 16C in offices.

The associated Approved Code of Practice states that employers should take action if the temperature falls below 16C.

This can dip to 13C if a lot of strenuous activity is carried out, however there is no upper limit when temperatures begin to rise in the summer months.

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

YOUR rights

Snowman in the grounds of Coventry Cathedral.

Employees should be afforded regular breaks and the chance to have a hot drink, according to guidelines.

In the advice given to handle the cold conditions, employers have been reminded it’s their responsibility to provide additional heating should it get too cold.

Bosses should also do what they can to limit exposure and reduce draughts.

Employers are also told to offer flexible working patterns or job rotations to help minimise the effects of the cold.

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Christmas weather



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