My View, Rosie Winterton MP: Some like it hot - and some don’t at all!

Thermometer
Thermometer

As summer finally arrived a couple of weeks ago, many of us were delighted to fold up our umbrellas and get out and enjoy some sunshine.

But as temperatures soared, so it became more and more uncomfortable, especially for people working in stifling heat in shops, offices and factories.

Concerned constituents wrote to me about the Cool It campaign calling for a maximum workplace temperature.

Once again, the trade union movement has been at the forefront of fighting to protect workers from having to put up with workplace conditions that can damage their health.

As the Trades UnionCongress (TUC) has pointed out, working in high temperatures can cause dizziness, fainting and heat cramps.

In extreme cases heat stroke or collapse can even follow.

Tiredness and losing concentration can, at worst, lead to accidents.

In 2009 the Labour government said it was time to look at whether we should introduce a maximum workplace temperature but since then, despite all the campaigning, nothing has happened.

I think it is time for this government to look at reviewing all the evidence to see whether more should be done.

In the meantime, employers and employees should get together to see what can be done to cool down the workplace when things hot up.

And here’s the Brexit question again... a great deal of the laws which protect people at work are currently guaranteed by the European Union.

Indeed, workplace temperature is regulated by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, originally introduced to give effect in Great Britain to the requirement of EC Directive 89/654/EEC concerning minimum safety and health requirements for the workplace.

Brexit will not only affect rules on health and safety, but also rights and protections governing holidays, sick leave and parental leave.

So it is really important that the UK government put laws in place to maintain what we currently take for granted and stop workers being exploited once Britain leaves the European Union.

Working together, local authorities, businesses, trade unions, charities and other stakeholders, will need to set out exactly what protections workers have as a result of our being a member of the European Union and make sure those protections remain in place once we leave. Doncaster workers deserve nothing less.

And just a bit of advice – if you’re at work, join a trade union.

You never know when you will need one!