A BARNSLEY baker has branded an MP 'clueless' after she suggested factories with working temperature of more than 30 degrees should be closed.

A group of MPs are pushing for a new law which would require bosses to send home staff if the temperature in the workplace exceeds 30C, or 27C for those doing strenuous work.

But John Foster, of Foster's Bakery in Mapplewell, said it was lunacy and that it would mean he would have to close and send home his 200 staff.

"The old phrase is 'if you can't stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen'. But we can stand the heat, it's what we're used to. Take it from someone who works in a bakery and knows."

The proposal is contained in a parliamentary motion tabled by Labour MP Linda Riordan, which has attracted the signatures of 17 MPs.

It warns that employees in workplaces ranging from industrial bakeries to school classrooms are often subjected to temperatures which can 'impact seriously on their health and wellbeing'.

An official code of practice introduced in 1992 as part of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations states that workplace temperatures should not normally drop below 16C or 13C if the work involves severe physical effort.

But there is no suggested maximum limit, with the guidelines stating only that "all reasonable steps should be taken to achieve a reasonably comfortable temperature".

John said temperatures on Wednesday reached 27.5 degrees inside the factory, but that it was hotter outside the bakery than it was inside.

He added: "We would have had to close. If we don't supply today, then our customers don't come back tomorrow and we're all out of work.

"It's just clueless MPs. If you're a bricklayer, in the winter it's horrible and in the summer it's comfortable. It's called life."