May 26, 2024

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Over 30 degrees from tomorrow: These are the actions your boss should take during a heat wave |  the heat

Over 30 degrees from tomorrow: These are the actions your boss should take during a heat wave | the heat

answersIt will be very hot in the coming days, and this may have unpleasant consequences in your workplace. Employers must then take measures to reduce the impact. What exactly does it consist of? From when should it be? What about remote workers? Seek advice from labor expert Helena Moeldermanns of the Flemish employers’ organization Voka and Catherine Meyer, legal expert at Partena Professional.

Employers must take appropriate measures of a certain temperature, which is prescribed by law. “The employer should describe in a preventive policy how it can ensure the well-being of its employees during a heat wave,” says labor market expert Helena Muldermans. “The type of actions depends on the temperature, the duration of the heat wave, the nature of the work and whether there are ozone peaks.”

Heat exposure metrics are included in the WGTB (Wet Globe Temperature) index, which you can find on the FPS Action website. “A globe thermometer takes into account temperature, wind speed, and humidity,” Muyldermans explains.

29°C for light or very light workLike secretarial work.

26°C for medium businesslike manual labor on the table

22°C heavy dutyLike standing at work

18°C for very heavy dutysuch as excavation work

What if the temperature is overwritten?

In this case, the employer must take a number of technical and organizational measures to keep heat exposure to a minimum.

• Do you work under bright sunlight? In this case, your employer must provide protective equipment to protect you from direct sunlight. Read here how to protect yourself.

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• The employer must provide free refreshing drinks.

If the overheating persists for more than two days, for example during a heat wave, you can expect further procedures. “If the temperature is exceeded for more than 48 hours, your boss must provide an air conditioner. If 48 hours have passed and the overshoot continues, the employer must introduce a system of limited attendance at the workstation and rest periods. So he must provide free refreshing drinks.”

Still too hot in the office? These 12 tips provide additional cooling.

Is remote work considered an alternative if the employer is unable to take the required measures?

“Telework can be an alternative if the employee position is right for it,” says Catherine Maire, legal expert at Partena Professional. “Unfortunately, it goes without saying that a worker working in a production line, even if it is very hot, will not be able to work remotely. Accordingly, the employer will be obligated to apply the above measures.”

As a teleworker, you can also suggest to the employer that he work during the cold hours: “Theoretically, the ‘classic’ working hours should be respected as much as possible. But we can imagine, for example, that a teleworker can arrange his work schedule in such a way that he He works during the cold hours, provided, of course, that this does not affect his proper functioning, ”explains Catherine Maire.

Read also: Can you work remotely from your balcony? Or from your country house?


If labor regulations do not expressly state that men are not allowed to wear shorts or are not obligated to follow certain “dress rules”, then in principle they are entitled to wear shorts at work.

Kathryn Maire, Legal Expert at Partina Professional

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Can employees come into the office wearing shorts?

Depending on the sector you operate in, a dress code may be enforced for safety or hygiene reasons. You can find this in your company’s collective labor agreement.

“Employers are also entitled to impose certain dress codes based on the position, but this should always be done ‘without discrimination and in an objective manner,’” Merry says. The latter should then be clearly included in the company’s labor regulations. So if the labor regulations do not explicitly state that That men are not allowed to wear shorts or are not obligated to follow certain ‘dress rules’, in principle they are entitled to wear shorts to work.”

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