Common Summer Challenges

Common Summer Challenges

  • Date: Friday 23rd June 2017
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With Summer in full swing for many of us, common challenges sometimes leave employers scratching their heads:

Workplace Temperatures

Although there is no maximum workplace/office temperature under the Health and Safety at Work Act, employers must consider if the environment is still safe and reasonably comfortable to work in.

What do to?

  • Adapt the environment by opening windows and doors or installing temporary air conditioning systems or fans.
  • Relax clothing wherever possible, without compromising on safety.
  • Provide iced water, iced fruit or lollies and frequent breaks.
  • Shorten workdays if required or introduce flexi-working or longer mid-day breaks. Remember that your staff have to agree to these changes before you can implement them!


Unauthorised Time Off

When the beach beckons, absence often rises and you must nip things in the bud!

 What to do?

  • Establish a clear attendance management policy with guidelines on calling-in procedures and ‘acceptable’ levels of absence…and stick to it!
  • If you have been given evidence that an employee was not, in fact, sick when they called in, treat this firmly in accordance with your disciplinary procedure.
  • Be visible and pick up on issues.  Sometimes, staff take time off because they feel unable to cope with their work environment or are genuinely unwell because of it.  Listen and take any complaints seriously!


Summer Holiday Requests

Allocation, late returns, extended absence and rota issues – why is it that every year, we go through the same pains?

 What to do?

  • Set out clear rules on your holiday booking system. It helps to have a deadline in place by which holiday requests for the whole year must be submitted. Alternatively, if you operate a first-come-first-served system, make sure you set a limit to how many employees can be off at the same time…and stick to it!
  • Don’t discriminate against staff without caring responsibilities. A policy of ‘parents first’ would put you in breach of the Equality Act 2010.
  • Limit leave to a set number of weeks in certain periods if you find that excessive time off has an impact on operations. As an employer, you must ensure that your staff have the opportunity to take their leave; but you can also stipulate periods of holiday amnesty due to business requirements.

 Source: SSG Manuela Grossmann



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