What applies when it’s hot at work?

Workers may be unable to work due to heat

“This makes it very difficult for employees to determine in individual cases when there is still an obligation to work and when not.” However, simply refusing to work is not a good idea, as employees can risk a warning or even be fired. The works council can also contribute to this. Anyone who suffers from health problems due to the temperatures in their workplace should consult a doctor. There may be an inability to work under the given conditions.

How hot can it get at work?

The concrete temperature specifications result from the rules of the workplace, which also contain specifications for the ambient temperature. According to Bredereck, the employer must first take precautions against excessive exposure to the sun. In addition, if the indoor temperature exceeds 26 degrees Celsius, it must equip the components with appropriate sun protection systems. If it is even hotter than 26 degrees inside, the employer must take additional measures if the work entails a health risk, for example in the event of heavy physical work or because the Employees have a medical condition. health or are in particular need of protection. “The employer must adjust his risk assessment accordingly,” explains the specialist lawyer. Above a temperature of 30 degrees, the employer must take effective additional measures, such as relaxing dress rules or installing ventilation systems. “Technical and organizational measures take precedence over personal measures”, explains Bredereck. “So first the ventilation, then the easing of dress regulations.” According to Bredereck, the interiors can only be used as working rooms under very strict conditions from a temperature of 35 degrees.

How strict can dress codes be in hot temperatures?

“If the employer has a reasonable interest in the employee’s clothing or if this is even regulated in the employment contract, the interest does not cease to apply from a certain temperature”, specifies Bredereck. However, the employer is required to take precautions in the workplace. “If he manages to do this, for example with an air conditioner, the dress code will remain in place in full.” If he fails to do so, relaxing the dress code may be a measure. “The limit here is always the possible harassment of other employees, for example by clothing that is too revealing”, specifies Bredereck.

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