Is There A Temperature That Is Too Cold To Work In?
2 person walking on snow covered road during daytime
Photo by Gary Ellis on Unsplash

As UK Temperatures Drop People Ask How Cold Is Too Cold To Work

Jasmyne Jeffery December 15, 2022

Temperatures in the UK have dropped to below -10 degrees celsius in some places, with snow and ice warnings in place. As people head to work in the mornings, they’re asking how cold is too cold to work.

For another morning, people in the UK have woken up to temperatures well below freezing. There’s ice on the ground the permanent threat of snow. With energy bills on the rise, it’s harder than ever to keep at a comfortable temperature, even in the workplace. The weather has people asking what is the lowest temperature you can work in, but you might not like the answer.

What Is The Lowest Temperature You Can Work In?

In the UK, there is no law in place regarding workplace temperatures. So, unfortunately, no matter how cold it is you will be required to go to work.

That being said, clearly, if it is unsafe to do so, or the weather has closed your place of work then you’ll stay at home. Earlier this week, dozens of schools around the country were forced to close due to the snow, heating failures and burst pipes.

Although the government say there is no legal rule about how cold is too cold to work, they do offer guidance.

“a minimum of 16ºC or 13ºC if employees are doing physical work.”

They also say that employers must stick to health and safety guidelines. That means the working environment must be comfortable and have clean, fresh air.

If you feel as if your workplace is too cold or you are not comfortable, speak to your employer.

DAS Law explains that if enough people are affected, then the employer’s duty of care is in question.

“If a large number of employees bring concerns about temperature to their employer’s attention, they will have to consider whether the current approach to keeping the workplace warm is adequate as part of their ‘duty of care’.”

Photo by Gary Ellis on Unsplash

How Cold Is Too Cold To Work Doesn’t Affect Working From Home

Many employees have chosen to return to the office this year after being required to work from home during the pandemic. This has been increased due to rising energy bills making working from home less appealing. Those who are at their home office are trying to keep the heating off for as long as possible.

Although going into the office often means travel expenses, working from home isn’t necessarily cheaper.

There are many benefits to staying at home. However, the health and safety guidelines your employers have to adhere to aren’t won’t be in place.

So, unfortunately, some cold weather alone won’t be enough for the law to step in and keep you curled up in bed. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for a bit more snow to keep us home for a few days!

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Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time Entertainment and News Writer on university-themed website Freshered and HITC, and joined the company having previously worked in a freelance role. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger and graduated in 2022 with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Now, she puts her creativity to use reviewing university bars, Love Island episodes and the latest apps any 18-25-year-old is using.