A legal helpline for employers has reported rocketing sickness absence as temperatures soar during the current heatwave.
Law firm Peninsula claimed that calls to it's employment law helpline shot up by 42 per cent yesterday, with the majority of bosses raising concerns about staff missing work.
Many managers were concerned that a rise in employees taking sick days coincided with the hot summer weather.
However, Russell Guest head of corporate development at Peninsula warned employers not to take action against staff, unless there was evidence that suggested the hot spell was directly responsible for the unauthorised absence.
"Employers should not take action on employees that call in sick without a thorough investigation. We often see a trend in rising absenteeism during the summer but employers should not presume the weather conditions are the main reason," he said.
Guest also advised HR professionals to be aware of conditions for those staff who are in the workplace during these unusually high temperatures.
He said employers should introduce a comfort zone where the temperature is three degrees below the outside temperature and ensure the air flow through the building is sufficient.
"It is extremely important to ensure employees take regular breaks and that drinks are made available," he said.
"If you fail to comply... you may be breaking health and safety laws and could face prosecution. If you have an employee who becomes unwell in the workplace, you may feel the individual is taking advantage of the weather, but for the safety of your employees it is advisable to side with caution and give them the benefit of the doubt."