National Trust to give staff siestas in summer

The National Trust is giving its workers siestas in summer due to increasingly hot weather because of climate change.

Staff and volunteers in the south of England will be given more Mediterranean working hours, with a long lunch break and the day starting earlier and finishing later in an aim to avoid working the hottest part of the day, as people already do in countries such as Italy and Spain.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “It’s fair to say that as we experience more extreme temperatures, we will be looking to offer Mediterranean working hours, especially in the east which is likely to experience more frequent higher temperatures to ensure the health and safety of our staff and volunteers.”

This has already begun at Ham House in Richmond, south London, which was forced to close for the first time in August 2019 as temperatures reached more than 40C. Staff are offered the new working hours when it is hot – and it is expected this will be rolled out across more trust properties in coming years.

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