Surely, this is unacceptable.
If you've been unfortunate enough to step outside this week, you'll have undoubtedly suffered the bitterness that is the cold weather. Some say we're being dramatic but with it already being -1°C outside and Met Eireann are predicting snow for later on today, we're calling this batch of bad weather, the Beast From The East 2.0.
As we sit at our desk shivering, the temperature outside is continuing to plummet. So it got us thinking, just how cold does it have to be to be sent home? We mean some counties have already seen snow fall, airports are coming to a standstill and schools have been closed so when is it our turn?
The topic is a tricky subject as unlike the UK, there is no law that entitles you to a day off if your workplace is too cold. According to the IBEC, there is no legal maximum or minimum temperature for a workplace.
"Under Irish legislation, no maximum temperature for a workplace is prescribed."
Now before you go and pack your duvet for work, there is a loophole. The IBEC also states that under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act, 20005: employers are obliged to assess risks to the health and safety of their workers where necessary (aka if the workplace temperature drops too low.)
"An employer does, however, have a general duty under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 to ensure the safety, health and welfare of all employees. The temperature of the workplace, whether too hot or too cold for comfort may have some effect on welfare and possible health."
The HSE suggests the minimum temperature in a workplace should be at least 16°C in a typical work environment. However, if the work involves rigorous physical activity, the temperature should be at least 13°C.
While these temperatures are not absolute legal requirements, should the temperature in your office drop below 16°C, you could have quite the case on your hands.
As for schools and universities, there is a legal requirement to provide a safe condition for students to study. According to the Irish National Teachers Organisation, a classroom should be at least 16°C, by 10 am, otherwise, students must be sent home.
Get the thermometers out, lads!