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UK employment law and drinking water


Allowing and even encouraging, water breaks could give your business a boost. Evidence to show that adequately hydrated employees are more upbeat, productive, concentrate better, have more energy, and are less likely to suffer from headaches and fatigue.

What does the law say about drinking water at work?

People carrying out physical labour in hot conditions need to drink water frequently, but even employees in air-conditioned offices need their share of water. Studies on workplace productivity highlight the benefits of proper hydration. Actively encouraging employees to drink water during the workday therefore makes perfect sense – and if that water is fresh, clean and chemical-free, they’re far more likely to sip away and enjoy its body and brain-boosting benefits.

It’s the employer’s responsibility to protect employee health and safety, and there’s no denying that dehydration is a health risk. The health and safety laws provide the basics employees need: clean toilet facilities, hand washing facilities and a safe, clean place to eat lunch. The provision of free drinking water is high on the list – as it should be. But before you rush out and stock up on water, you’re likely to ask, “What kind of drinking water should I provide?”

The bare bones provision is that drinking water must:

  • be available
  • be clean
  • be free from any form of contamination
  • be easily accessible & unlimited

In addition, employers must provide hygienic receptacles for water – washable drinking glasses, cups or disposable cups are part of the requirement. Give your employees water they’ll enjoy drinking, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a hydrated, fully-functional workforce. Are you ready to find out more? Discover a solution your employees will love.