Welfare at work

Information on the legal temperature requirements in the workplace

Workplace temperature

This information is current, but it is important to consider issues in your workplace that are specific to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and make suitable arrangements to keep your staff safe. The risk of transmission could be high at:

  • toilet facilities
  • locker rooms, changing facilities and showers
  • kitchens, canteens and rest areas. 

For more information and advice on how to carry out a risk assessment for managing the risk of transmission in the workplace, read our COVID-19 guidance on returning to work

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​You have a duty to ensure the welfare of your employees at work. Providing a safe and healthy environment will also help to motivate your workforce.

Your employees need to be able to work without the discomfort caused by environments that are too hot or too cold.

Where work requires less physical effort, such as in an office, temperatures should be at least 16 degrees Celsius. For those working on activities that require more effort, the minimum temperature can be reduced to 13 degrees Celsius.

There is a risk to the health of your employees if they are exposed to higher or lower temperatures. This could cause heat or cold stress.

Risk assessment

You should do a risk assessment to ensure that the health of your employees is not at risk. While doing this, take into consideration personal and environmental factors such as:

  • clothing
  • humidity
  • radiant heat
  • body activity
  • duration of exposure
  • ambient temperatures