The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is today calling on employees to help British workers cope with the hot summer weather by allowing the relaxation of office clothes regulations.
As temperatures rise above the 30C mark and the Met Office warns that there is a 30 per cent chance that Britain's record for temperatures in July could be broken this week, the TUC is arguing that productivity could be boosted if employees lighten up working conditions in the UK.
Among the measures it is calling on businesses to adopt are allowing staff to wear "less formal attire", distributing fans, installing air conditioning and allowing more flexitime to minimise the number of employees forced to endure the rush hour commutes.
"We'd like British bosses to work cool and take the Japanese premier's advice and allow their staff to dress down a little for summer," explained TUC general secretary Brendan Barber.
"Not only will a cool approach to work avoid staff wilting at their desks, it could also save companies money as they should be able to turn down the air conditioning a notch."
Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, in a bid to save energy as well as boost productivity, famously stopped wearing a tie during Japan's swelteringly hot 2005 summer, setting an example emulated by thousands of Japanese businesses and their employees.
"It's no fun working in a baking office or factory and employers should do all they can to take the temperature down," Mr Barber continued.
"We're calling on bosses to let their staff loosen their collars and cool down while the heatwave continues."
The Met Office has placed an 80 per cent risk of heatwave conditions hitting southern parts of England and Wales during the next few days, with temperatures expected to peak midweek.