As the UK sees a second heatwave in as many months, many of us will be struggling to cope with the extreme temperatures, especially if there is no air con installed.

Drought could be declared for some parts of England on Friday, as the country bakes in another heatwave.

The National Drought Group – made up of Government and agency officials, water companies and other groups such as the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) – is set to meet on Friday to discuss the prolonged dry weather.

There are expectations drought could be declared for some parts of England such as southern and eastern areas, prompting action by agencies and water companies to manage water resources to ensure supplies and protect the environment.

It comes as temperatures are set to climb to as high as 34C on Thursday and up to a peak of 36C over the weekend in the areas covered by an amber warning for extreme heat issued by the Met Office for much of England and Wales.

There is also a heat health alert in place from the UK Health Security Agency, with experts advising people to look out for those who are older or with existing health conditions, as well as young children.

Drought warning UK

Met Office heatwave warning

The Met Office has issued a four-day amber warning for extreme temperatures in parts of England and Wales as a new heatwave looms.

The warning, for Thursday to Sunday, comes as the forecaster predicted 35C in places or even an “isolated” 36C – below last month’s record temperatures, which peaked above 40C in some spots.

The vulnerable are likely to experience adverse health affects, while the wider population could also be affected, the alert said.

Met Office weather warnings: What they mean

How hot does it have to be before you can leave work?

Under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, Employers have alegal obligation to ensure that the temperature in the workplace is “reasonable”.

it is also down to employers to ensure that the air in the office is clean and fresh for their staff.

Despite the guidance under law, the government has not specified a specific temperature in the workplace which would mean employees are sent home.

While some people work outside and others in an office, it’s hard to specify a general temperature.

However in 2006 the Trades Union Congress (TUC) released a briefing that highlighted the temperatures that it believes should be maintained in different workplaces

It highlighted that 30C should be the maximum temperature set by employers with that limit being reduced to 27C  for those doing strenuous work.

Section 44 health and safety at work act heatwave

Extremely hot temperatures can have an impact on your health, if you are worried about your safety at work you should talk to your colleagues and your union about your concerns. You should also speak to your employer to rectify any issues you are worried about. 

All workers in the UK have a right to feel safe at work and after raising concerns, if there is still a significant danger, workers have a right to leave work depending on certain circumstances.

The law relevant to such scenarios is Section 44 of the Employment Act.

It says: "Section 44.1: (d) in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent and which he could not reasonably have been expected to avert, he left (or proposed to leave) or (while the danger persisted) refused to return to his place of work or any dangerous part of his place of work, or (e) in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent, he took (or proposed to take) appropriate steps to protect himself or other persons from the danger."

Can I leave work in a heatwave?

A maximum working temperature has yet to be legalised in the UK.

Ultimately it is up to the employer to decide whether the temperature in the workplace is suitable for workers.