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East Anglia Future 50

Heatwave leads to a relaxing of the office dress code - to expose knobbly knees

PUBLISHED: 15:12 27 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:12 27 July 2018

left to right is Darren Briggs, Nigel Foster & Paul Collins. Picture: JohnBanksGroup

left to right is Darren Briggs, Nigel Foster & Paul Collins. Picture: JohnBanksGroup

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John Banks Group has issued a 'knobbly knee alert.'

Due to the continued heatwave currently being experienced in the UK, the car dealer group with showrooms across Suffolk are allowing their staff to wear shorts to work today. They have decided to warn the public in advance of the breakout of knobbly knees and potential white legs.

The outbreak will be from their Honda car and motorcycle dealerships, Suzuki, Renault and Dacia showrooms in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge.

The multi-franchise dealerships have drawn the line at sandals with socks and Crocs as they feel this may be a step too far for their customers. There is no risk to the public, but the motor group will be issuing any customers who are alarmed some John Banks Sunglasses should they require them.

Chief executive Melanie Banks-Browne said: “Due to this continued hot weather and our dealership showroom being made mostly from glass it was only right to allow staff to work as comfortably as possible. The risk of exposing the public to knobbly knees was a risk worth taking.”

John Banks Group is one of a number of local businesses to allow workers to come in wearing shorts instead of trousers to alleviate the heat.

Claudette Day of the renewable energy company Energie Solutions, based in Manningtree, expained that her employees spend much of their time either outside or in lofts. They are currently allowed, for the first time ever, to wear work shorts to help keep them cool. “Its somewhat unbearable, at the moment but we are striving through it. They have plenty of water with them and are asking customers to fill their bottles up - most customers are obliging anyway in making nice cool drinks for them.

“The biggest problem is their vans. The air conditioning in most trade vans is rubbish and when you are sitting in traffic at a standstill they are baking hot.

“Having said all this, it is still business as usual. Other countries have this kind of heat and just call it a normal working day. Being sensible is what it’s about.”

But for one Suffolk tradesman, Darren Foreman of Quality Clean carpet and upholstery cleaners in Haverhill, even shorts won’t cut it. “I feel over dressed in shorts,” he said. “I’m a carpet cleaner and the humidity is a killer, especially when steam is coming up in front of you.”

Some other business, such as Orbital Media digital agency in Stowmarket, have been supplying ice creams to enable staff to cool down.

And Chris Bayfield, who runs Bayfields Digital - Aerials, Satellite and WiFi in Woodbridge, has been making sure that his engineer does early starts and finishes in order to stay healthy in the scorching heat. “But the heat is still making him struggle,” he said. “A lot of his work is on roofs and sometimes in lofts so pretty exhausting in these temperatures.”

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