XpertHR, a subscription service providing information to HR professionals, have revealed that their most frequently asked question in June 2017 was concerning workplace temperature, George Martinuinvestigates

Heatwave

Employees concerns about temperature came after the ‘heatwave’ in the middle of last month. Whilst the Health and Safety Executive recommends that offices are no cooler than 16° Celsius, there is no maximum or minimum legal temperature. Regulation 7 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/3004) stating that, during working hours, “the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable”.

Jo Stubbs, Head of Content at XpertHR, commented: “Last month saw the hottest June day for 40 years. For many that obviously meant an uncomfortably hot working environment – as evidenced by the subject of our most popular HR question, maximum workplace temperatures”.

In addition to this, the second and third most asked questions regarded the General Data Protection Regulation, a new legislation for collecting and processing personal data in the EU. It will be introduced in May 2018, as a replacement for the Data Protection Directive.

The premise of the new legislation is to ensure employers provide more information to employees and job applicants on the purpose (and legal grounds) for collecting their data, and ensuring that they know their rights in relation to their personal data.

Stubbs continued: “HR professionals also continued to be exercised by the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), in particular the changes to the requirements on obtaining employee consent to process personal data. While employers currently typically rely on employees’ consent to process their data – often given via a broad clause in employment contracts – under the GDPR this route will be much harder and they will generally have to find an alternative basis.”

Finally, a significant amount of users consulted the firm last month for advice on apprenticeship levy funding, after the introduction of a new system on May 1st. This funding can be spent on apprenticeship training and the external assessment of apprentices, but it cannot be paid to apprentices as wages, or be used to cover the cost of setting up an apprenticeship programme.