So I work in a fairly large company, most things are provided for stationary, tea bags, coffee etc. However there is a lack of general kitchen items used for lunches etc. Also we lack a sink in our office.

There is a water cooler and kettle that we use for making cups of tea etc, washing up is either not done, done in the toilets or taken home. Thus mostly the first and it never gets done.

What is the requirements of the company to provide a sink? Would it be worth requesting one to be installed in the building or is this too much to expect? Secondly regarding the actual knives forks plates etc... am I best to just bring in my own kitchen items in and keep them in my desk or is the company supposed to provide such facilities thus I should have a word with HR?

Based in UK but also interested in other countries and policies.

closed as off-topic by dwizum, Mister Positive, gnat, Chris E, jimm101 May 11 '18 at 21:02

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  • 2
    How are people supposed to make coffee/tea if there's no tap? – Snow May 10 '18 at 13:44
  • Also, what do the rest of your colleagues/employees do? – Snow May 10 '18 at 13:45
  • 3
    this raises a lot of alarms at the HSE wash up bits in the toilets – L_Church May 10 '18 at 13:55
  • 1
    @MisterPositive yeh that is generally what I am doing, just wondering if there any requirement of the company to offer more – Fuzzybear May 10 '18 at 13:59
  • 1
    In the US there is not. Only bathrooms are required. In the UK I am not sure. @Snow should know. – Mister Positive May 10 '18 at 14:02

There's no requirements in the UK for them to provide you with kitchen facilities such as a sink or cutlery etc. While it's quite common for offices in the UK to have such things there's no obligation on them to be provided.

They do need to provide access to drinking water (and suitable cups if the water isn't from a drinking fountain), so the water cooler would cover that requirement.

Bathroom facilities are also a requirement and it would appear that they already do that as well.

Here is are the appropriate regulatory info.

As for what to do I'd just bring in whatever you need and then take it home with you to clean to be honest.

  • 1
    There is a major Health and Safety issue though with washing up plates etc in a toilet. Call your local council H&S – Neuromancer May 10 '18 at 15:15
  • 1
    Yeah, but there is always the option to take a lunchbox to the office and then the dirty stuff back home. – TomTom May 10 '18 at 15:36

Let me ask this counter question. If they provided a sink (and everything else you would need for a functional place to eat lunch at work) who is going to enforce that people clean up after themselves? Also how are you going to know that the items you want to use are actually clean and haven't just been rinsed off?

As was answered by motosubatsu there is no requirement for them to be provided and I would guess that is in part to potential liability issues if they are not properly maintained.

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