Rising temperatures across the UK are predicted to scorch businesses as absenteeism levels rise.
Occupational health provider Active Health Partners (AHP) estimates that if the heatwave hits the expected 35 degrees Celsius today, UK businesses will lose £119m on this day alone.
AHP has calculated that for every 10% increase in temperature, there will be a similar increase in absence.
Weather experts predict that 2006 will see the hottest ever July in history and with employees keen to enjoy the unusual weather and choosing to stay at home, businesses could lose more than £3bn during the month.
“Our nurses currently handle more than 300,000 calls per year and we have seen a large increase in call volumes on the call centre, which has risen almost equally to the rise in heat that is sweeping the UK,” said Gerry Callaghan, an executive at AHP.
“We predict that this correlation will continue as the weather gets hotter over the summer months.
“There has been a rise in the number of heat and sunburn-related sickness as UK residents are not used to these temperatures and do not act sensibly in the sun,” he added.