Boiling the kettle at work is one of the most provocative acts any employee can commit themselves to.
This is why The Boiling Kettles at Work Act 1974 set out to establish workplace laws on the appropriate procedures to follow.
If your business uses spouted devices with a handle in which water is boiled, it’s essential you establish a policy to avoid the onset of bedlam.
Why Kettles Are Required at Work
Being feckless and inferior individuals to rich people, your standard member of staff needs a range of caffeinated drinks to ensure they don’t collapse in a heap during the working day.
The Boiling Kettles at Work Act 1974 was introduced to ensure employees had the right to boil kettles in a workplace and on company time.
Before 1974, if an employee decided to boil a kettle they could be fired on the spot for insubordination.
With the Act in place, this was banned. It was a liberating moment for everyone, as prior to the Act workplace rioting and anarchy were commonplace.
Page 554, section 17 (a), of the Act states:
“Boiling the kettle for a spot of tea is legally allowable under the Act. Employers should not obstruct employees from taking time out of their day to make a cup of tea (or for coffee).”
However, the Act does clarify:
“Employers can keep track of employees and the regularity of their brew breaks. If they’re taking the piss (i.e. taking 30+ breaks a day) then come down on those bastards like a tonne of bricks.”
The punishments available to you are as follows:
- A verbal warning
- A written warning
- Finger wagging
- Stern use of tonal variations
If the employee continues to drink excessive amounts of tea, and waste company time, you should threaten to demote them and/or provide a pay cut.
If they object to this, wag your finger in their face and, with your other finger, point at some tea bags. This should get the message across.
How Many Kettles Should You Have at Work?
Of bigger concern to your business is the number of kettles to maintain in your workplace. This depends on how many employees you have.
Do note, kettles can be expensive to maintain. They require:
- Constant supervision for their correct functioning
- Regular monitoring to ensure employees don’t try to steal them
- A health and safety official on hand in the event the kettle explodes
Under The Abundance of Kettles in the Workplace (Miscellaneous) Act 1974, page 445 section 37 (b) states:
“It is wise to have at least two kettles in your workplace. This ensures a steady flow of boiling hot water so that no one misses out on a proper brew.”
However, some rogue businesses are prone to panicking and purchasing too many kettles for their workplace.
In the case of Psycho Ken’s Cooking Oil Recovery Team in January 2022, some 372 kettles were purchased believing The Abundance of Kettles in the Workplace (Miscellaneous) Act 1974 was instructing them to do so.
The CEO, Psycho Ken, told us:
“Employees went on a free-for-all, boiling kettles all day long. The net result was a ten thousand pound electricity bill for that month. We had to let ten of them go on the spot due to budgeting problems. After all, I didn’t want it affecting my annual million pound bonus!”
As such, it’s advisable to not have more than five kettles in a business at any given time.
Policies Regarding Fighting Over Kettle Usage
From time to time, your employees may engage in fisticuffs over who gets to use a kettle.
Under The Boiling Kettles at Work Act 1974, if they end up killing each other during this fight you’re legally responsible for clearing away the corpse(s).
As such, it’s advisable you encourage colleagues to wait patiently in line for a kettle.
This is okay with British staff members, as they’re well versed in the need to queue patiently whilst tutting passive-aggressively at appropriate moments.
However, the likes of American employees don’t have such sickening politeness. They may, in fact, draw forth an enormous bazooka to threaten a colleague away from the kettle.
Please remind your workforce that bazookas aren’t welcome in the working environment. They can create hostility, fear, explosions, and, ultimately, a toxic environment.
Remember, everyone should be free to boil a kettle in peace and quiet.
As a business owner, you may want to sneer down on employees sipping at a brew during the working day, but just remember it keeps them docile and subservient.
This will assist your overhead and profit margins, one brew at a time.