With the number of cases of swine flu on the rise daily and the worst of it yet to come from autumn onwards, the impact on your business could be huge! However, there are steps you can take to prepare for an outbreak of swine flu within your organisation.Consider the minimum number of employees you need in order to operate each department and where possible, identify the transferable skills of each staff member so that you could, in an emergency, redeploy them elsewhere in your business to cover staff shortages.
Prepare for the possibility of having to recruit and train additional temporary staff to supplement departments where employee levels are already below the minimum level you require.
Consider adopting more flexibility around time keeping if public transport is restricted and it becomes difficult for employees to get to work on time. Where possible some employers may want to explore the possibility of home working.
Allowing employees to work more flexible hours may also enable them to undertake their obligations to care for sick relatives without having to stop work completely.
Consider how information will flow to employees and to suppliers and/or customers or clients. Communications may be of vital importance in keeping the business running smoothly, so an emergency communications plan should be put into place, which identifies key contacts and sets up chains buy viagra online of communication so that information can be disseminated quickly to the relevant people.
The internet, video and telephone conferencing are all effective methods of communication that can be used to avoid the need for business travel and allow meetings with customers and clients to continue without too much disruption.
Some employees may not wish to come to work because they are worried that they might contract the virus. Employees are not entitled to refuse to attend work based on a fear alone. However, employers must accept that such fears might outweigh concerns about being subject to disciplinary action.
See below for a checklist of the steps you can take to protect your business from the effects of a swine flu outbreak at work.
Swine Flu – Checklist
You can take various steps to protect your business from the effects of Swine Flu by considering the following:
1. Flexible Working Policy
Take a more flexible stance to issues such as time keeping, working hours and location
2. Communication Systems
Information Technology could be useful in enabling a business to run effectively with many employees absent from work
If the business is seriously affected by the effects of swine flu and you have to consider redundancies make sure you follow a proper and fair procedure
Consider whether it might be necessary to put further employment policies in to place such as:
a) Flexible Working Policy
b) Review your Health and Safety Policy in order to take measures in preventing the spread of the illness among employees who do attend work
c) Review your Sickness Policy to ensure you deal with employees who may be absent for extended periods (because of caring for sick relatives and/or are sick themselves)
5. General Hygiene
You should look at measures to reduce the risk of transmitting swine flu by promoting good hygiene practices including alcohol-based hand cleaners or wipes, gloves and masks
6. Adequate Stock and Equipment
Make sure you stock up on essential supplies, materials and equipment and ensure that maintenance works are up to date to guarantee that all equipment is capable of ongoing operation.
Prepare timelines for how long it would be possible for the business to continue operating without critical stock, staff and equipment