Czech govt. approves lowering minimum workplace temperatures

In response to the energy crisis, the Health Ministry proposed lowering minimum temperatures by two degrees in most Czech workplaces. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.09.2022 10:00:00 (updated on 27.09.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Update (Sept. 27):

The minimum approved temperatures at workplaces in the Czech Republic can be cut over the energy crisis under the regulation drafted by the Health Ministry that the government approved on Monday. The changes are to take effect as soon as the new government regulation is declared.

Under the regulation, the minimum temperature in offices and administrative or laboratory work can drop from the current minimum temperature of 22 to 18 degrees. It is different for other categories of workers. For drivers, workers at assembly lines, and cashiers, it will drop from the current 18 to 16 degrees Celsius, in dressing rooms at work, from 20 to 18 degrees Celsius, in washrooms from 22 to 19 degrees Celsius, in showers from 25 to 19 degrees Celsius and in toilets from 18 to 15 degrees Celsius. The current minimum temperature at workplaces was set in 2007.

Original story:

Things could get a little more chilly in the office this winter. In response to the ongoing energy crisis, the Czech Ministry of Health has proposed lowering the minimum temperature allowed by law in most workplaces across the Czech Republic.

For most employees, it would mean a potential dip in temperatures of around two degrees Celsius. The Czech government will debate the Health Ministry's proposal, an amendment to the law regulating the protection of employees at work, on Monday.

In most Czech offices (Job Class I under Czech law), the minimum allowable temperature during the winter is currently 20 degrees Celsius, with a maximum temperature during the summer months of 27 degrees.

The new proposal from the Health Ministry would lower the minimum allowable temperature to 18 degrees Celsius in Czech offices.

"The main reason for the proposal is to revise the legal framework in relation to the minimum temperature requirements in the workplace," the Health Ministry states in their official report.

"[The proposal] takes into account the current situation, in connection to the war in Ukraine, where there is a restriction and interruption of natural gas supplies and further persistence of the energy crisis is expected."

The Ministry's proposal covers most Czech workplaces. For office jobs with minimal physical activity (Job Class I), the minimum temperature would be lowered to 18 degrees Celsius.

In workplaces with light physical activity, for example at factories, warehouses, or retail stores (Job Class IIa) the minimum temperature would go down to 16 degrees Celsius from the current 18 degrees.

Other job classes would not be affected, but minimum temperatures at specific workplace locations would also go down under the new proposal. Locker rooms would dip to 18 degrees Celsius, showers to 19 degrees, and restrooms to a chilly 15 degrees.

The current minimum temperatures for Czech workplaces were established in 2007.

"They are [minimum] temperatures below which no one is allowed to go. If the temperature is higher, there is no problem at all," Health Minister Vlastimil Válek said on Thursday.

"I assume that a number of facilities where, for example, there are old patients, bedridden patients, or seniors in retirement homes, they will simply have a higher temperature."

According to Válek, the Health Ministry consulted the proposal with local doctors and compared it with other countries. He added that the mandatory temperature levels have not changed for a long time, so they do not reflect recent changes including global warming.

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