Blog: Leonie BarrieBeat the heat

Leonie Barrie | 19 July 2006

As parts of the UK spiral towards record-breaking temperatures today, the TUC trade union is urging hot British workers to dress cool in the heatwave. It makes sense of course, since employers will get more out of staff who have a cool and comfortable work environment rather than wilting at their desks. And more casual attire doesn’t have to mean dressing for the beach. Skimpy vest tops, shorts and flip-flops might not be suitable of course, but going without a jacket and tie (for men) and tights (for women) surely is.

However, despite the recommendations on WorkSMART, the TUC's working life website, employers are being warned to apply dress codes equally to men and women. It’s far easier for women to chill out in dresses, skirts and short-sleeved tops, and firms could be open to claims of sex discrimination from disgruntled male workers for whom the rules aren’t quite so flexible.

There’s a strong chance the dilemma will be short-lived though. By the end of the week, temperatures should have dropped and there’s even a chance of rain. So it’ll be back on with the jackets again.


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