This is how hot it needs to be in your office before you can legally walk out of work

Dave Maclean

Britain is sweltering in intense summer sunshine, with temperatures expected to hit 34C over the next few days.

That’s fine when it’s the weekend and you can light the barbecue and crack open some beers – but it’s no fun when you’re cooped up in the office.

And if the temperature rises too much at work, you might expect there to be a useful piece of legislation you can cite to get your employer to send you home for the day.

Well, we're sorry to break it to you, but in the UK there’s no maximum temperature – that’s because some workplaces operate at extreme temperature, such as a foundries and glass factories.

However there is a glimmer of hope - the Health and Safety Executive says employers must take into account six basic factors when deciding whether to keep people in the workplace.

These are; air temperature, radiant temperatures, air velocity, humidity, the clothing employees are expected to wear, and their expected work rate.

Ultimately, the temperature at work should be “reasonable” when factoring in the type of workplace.

If enough members of staff complain about the temperature, bosses are obliged to carry out a risk assessment and then rectify the situation. If this doesn’t happen, you’re entitled to complain to an industry regulator.

The TUC has called for a maximum workplace temperature of 30C for non-manual work, and 27C for manual work, meaning you would be automatically sent home if the workplace temperature exceeded it.

Until then though, the situation is far less clear cut.

The TUC also wants to see an obligation on employers to start taking measures to cool a workplace when it reaches 24C.

And while many employers will let staff dress more casually in the summer heat, the TUC wants this written into law.