Government experts predict that if pandemic flu hits the UK, 25% of your staff could be expected to phone in sick and a further 25% may request emergency leave to look after other family members.

That’s why you need to think now about protecting your business.

 

Hertfordshire County Council and its partners in Hertfordshire Resilience (the multi-agency partnership which co-ordinates planning for major emergencies in the county) are developing plans for pandemic flu. They are also encouraging all businesses in the county to be prepared too.

 

Experts are concerned that the conditions required for an influenza pandemic may develop from the avian flu virus currently circulating in South East Asia. Preparations are ongoing at international, national and local level to prepare for any future pandemic.

 

Models, developed by the Department of Health, suggest that during a pandemic period, employers could expect to see a total of between 25% and 50% of their staff taking 5-8 days off sick due to influenza. Many more people will be absent from work due to caring responsibilities.

 

What can you do to protect your business?

 

The County Council recommends that businesses consider government advice and make preparations as follows:

 

§        Assess and plan for the impact of pandemic flu on the business and on customers

§        Establish policies to be implemented if a pandemic occurs

§        Allocate resources to protect employees and customers

§        Communicate to and educate employees about pandemic flu

§        Coordinate with external organisations and help the community

 

More information about pandemic flu, a useful checklist for businesses making preparations and information for informing staff can be found at www.ukresilience.info

 

For further information about business continuity, log onto www.hertsdirect.org/businesscontinuity