In light of recent high temperatures, the TUC has urged employers to temporarily relax workplace dress codes to help their staff work as comfortably as possible.

The TUC is advising employers to allow their staff to wear less formal attire to work.  It says that workers who are unable to come to work in smart summer clothing and who work where there is no air-conditioning, fans or cold drinking water will feel lethargic, and lack inspiration and creativity.
While it may not be possible for staff who regularly attend meetings with external clients, who deal with the public or who wear company uniforms to go to work in vest and shorts, so long as employees are smartly turned out, it should be possible to agree on a dress code that fits with the corporate image and helps keep staff cool.

To keep work cool, the TUC would like to see employers:

  • allow staff to adopt less formal attire – with jackets and ties out, and short sleeves, vest tops and shorts in
  • distribute fans to staff and provide portable air cooling cabinets
  • install air conditioning and maintain it regularly, so that it doesn’t break down during a heatwave
  • allow flexible working so that staff can have the option of coming in earlier and staying later to avoid the sweltering conditions of the rush hour commute
  • move desks away from windows, draw blinds or install reflective film
  • allow staff to take frequent breaks and provide a ready supply of cool drinks.