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Mass walkouts over excessive temperatures not feasible

July 23rd, 2013

Specialist air conditioning hire firm, Andrews Sykes, has responded to MPs’ Early Day Motion to introduce a new law for maximum temperatures in the workplace.

According to Andrew Sykes, while Linda Riordan, MP for Calderdale, is right to raise the issue of workplace temperature, her approach in pushing for a law requiring bosses to send staff home if workplaces get hotter than 30°C puts unreasonable pressure on hard pressed businesses.

Stewart Owen, marketing manager at Andrews Sykes, said: “If MPs’ objective is to pressurise employers in to providing decent, appropriate and comfortable working environments in order to prevent mass walkouts, it certainly has merit. But a more workable solution is to initially provide a set of industry-specific guidelines, allowing employers the opportunity to put measures in place to make the workplace a more tolerable temperature.”

He continued: “Excessive heat is of course dangerous and every effort should be made to control the indoor climate during a heatwave, but we have reservations that this motion has not been adequately considered.

“In today’s economic climate, it is simply not feasible to even consider allowing workers to down tools and of course there are industries where that’s just not possible.

“This plan contains practical guidelines to ensure organisations remain operational even in extreme conditions. We have absolute sympathy for anyone working in unreasonable conditions but mass walkouts are surely not reasonable, practical or sustainable in the long term,” he concluded.

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