Swine flu is expected to keep one in eight off work in September, according to the latest government figures. But before you start yelling ‘plague’ and run home to paint a red cross on your door – read our tips on how to prepare your business for the worst.
Swine flu is expected to keep one in eight off work in September, according to the latest government figures. But before you start yelling ‘plague’ and run home to paint a black cross on your door – read our tips on how to prepare your business for the worst.
What are the symptoms?
Swine flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, aches, feeling cold and fatigue. Therefore these could be confused as symptoms of what would be known as seasonal or common flu.
Swine flu can be spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing.
Ways to prevent Swine flu
Businesses should advise employees to:
• Always carry tissues
• Use clean tissues to cover your mouth and nose when they sneeze
• Bin the tissues after one use
• Wash their hands with soap and hot water or a sanitizer gel often
Make plans now
Although no one is certain when the pandemic will reach its peak, businesses need to have a continuity plan in place now. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development advises the following:
• Have strategies to maximise the amount of home-working that is possible by staff
• Look into ways of increasing use of video links and teleconferencing which can help limit the amount of face-to-face contact
• For service/customer facing organisations, explore the possibility of increasing the amount of online transactions as well as self-service options for customers
• Have in place plans that will enable the organisation to operate on a skeleton staff
• Identify key roles that must be carried out and identify those individuals who have a wide range of skills who can fulfil more than one function
• Ensure that procedures are developed to ensure smooth handovers for employees who are filling in for colleagues in unfamiliar roles. It may be necessary to provide additional training and a risk assessment if individuals are moving to roles where there may be a healthy and safety risk
For news and updates on the virus, visit the following sites:
The Department of Health
You can call the swine flu hotline on: 0800 1513513
See also: Are you ready for bird flu?