Hospitality workers rights explained as temperatures soar

As some parts of Scotland brace for another extremely hot day, many people will be working in strenuous jobs in hospitality.

Published 19th Jul 2022
Updated 20 th Jul 2022

Unite Hospitality Union has shared advice and rights for hospitality workers, many of whom will be working during the heatwave.

The UK is currently experiencing very high temperatures, the some areas in Scotland under an amber weather warning for heat.

Given the nature of some hospitality work - hot kitchens, workers on their feet and moving about quickly and some outdoor work, such as in beer gardens - Unite Hospitality Union has shared advice and rights for workers.

The union posted these on their social media, writing: "Important message from our hospitality combine. Your rights as a hospitality worker during hot weather and how to enforce them."

These include:

  • Asking the employer for a copy of the excess heat risk assessment, which should contain information on regular breaks, fresh air and access to water at all times.
  • Employers should consider temporarily relaxing workplace dress codes.
  • Outdoor hospitality workers should be provided with sunscreen.
  • If a risk assessment isn't in place then one should be conducted urgently to protect staff.
  • If workers feel faint or ill under extreme conditions, they should stop working immediately and head to a cooler space.

The union states that there is no law on maximum temperatures at work but that they support the TUC's campaign for a maximum workplace temperature of 27 degrees for strenuous jobs.

For more information visit the Unite Hospitality Union's website.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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