Too Hot To Work? In Germany, You Could Go Home

sweaty biz man

Photo: George Eastman via Flickr

The director of a Berlin tax office sent his 260 colleagues an e-mail this week saying they could leave if they were too hot.The e-mail, which was published in the Berlin tabloid B.Z, asks employees to leave before they collapse of heat. The only request was to tell their immediate boss that they were leaving. The e-mail is signed “with sweaty greetings” by the office’s director.

With temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the German capital has been smouldering in the past few days. When the sun starts glowing, Germans frequently talk about “Hitzefrei”, or “heat free”. After a certain temperature, schools allow children to go home. A federal directive on work conditions states that after 30 degrees Celsius in the room, water and enough air have to be provided. In case of a room temperature above 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit), work may be discontinued, especially if physical tasks are involved.

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