Business closes and boss decides to send staff home as workers sweat in 35C heat
A travel agent has announced it will be closing this weekend due to soaring temperatures.
Flamingo Holidays, based in the Welsh town of Merthyr Tydfill, will be shut on Saturday to prevent staff working up a sweat in the hot weather.
A sunny weekend is set to be followed by a heatwave next week, with the UK predicted to see temperatures soar well into the 30s this month.
The holiday company announced on its Facebook page on Friday that it would close the following day after temperatures reached highs of 35°C in parts of the travel store and the Flamingo Holiday cafe that it runs on the same premises.
In a statement, the travel agent said: “We love our clients to bits but we love our team a tiny bit more. It reached 35 degrees today in the kitchen and parts of the cafe/ travel store.
“For this reason (due to forecast high temperatures) we have taken the decision to remain closed tomorrow (Saturday) to allow the team to cool off and or enjoy the sun.
“We apologise for any inconvenience and will be monitoring voicemail / social media and returning urgent calls. Our teams health and safety has to be our priority.”
WalesOnline reported that owner Simon Morgan said the in-store temperatures had gotten “close to unbearable” on Friday, leading him to decide to close over the weekend.
He added that while the cafe will lose money, the business would be able to run remotely on Saturday, while they will continue to monitor temperatures over the next week before making any further decisions.
“It was close to unbearable today, which is one of the reasons I said we can’t do this to the team, let’s lock up and go home,” said Mr Morgan.
“Within the travel business, we can operate remotely as we did all the way through the pandemic, so it’s not financial suicide, we can still serve our clients.
“The cafeteria will lose revenue, but it’s revenue that I’m prepared to lose in favour of protecting the team’s health and morale.”
He added: “We know that it could be hot on Monday and Tuesday as well, but we’re going to monitor the temperatures over the weekend and take a bit of action on Monday with some additional air conditioning units and fans, but if it is unbearable again, we will close and work from home.
“I think it’s vital that all companies take a proactive role in the well-being of their teams. If they want to keep the people and retain them, then that’s the number one rule.”
The company’s decision comes as what is expected to be a prolonged heatwave hits Wales, with high pressure dominating the UK over the coming days.
The Met Office says the highest temperatures are expected in Wales, southern and central England.
The highest temperatures could reach 33C on Tuesday, although the forecasting services says temperatures will also be widely above average this weekend and through next week.
A Level Three Heat Health Alert has been issued for next week, highlighting the potential health impacts of this type of weather.
Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, David Oliver, said: “The warm weather over much of England and Wales could last for much of next week.
“In the short term, many can expect temperatures in the mid to high 20s Celsius over the weekend, and then in the low 30s Celsius during the start of next week.
“Much of next week will remain warm for the time of year as well as dry and sunny for many areas.”