By Eve Clennell
I have an employee who has been told they have swine flu, as an employer I am a little concerned about how I should respond to this and what communication I should be giving the rest of my employees?
Issue a communication to your staff stating that the Company have been notified of a case of swine flu by an employee and that the employee is being treated and is not at work. It is important to point out that the vast majority of people who have swine flu make a quick recovery at home. However, you should communicate to staff that they should do what they can to prevent to infection from being spread to others by ensuring you take some simple precautions:
Notify your staff that if they, or their family develop flu like symptoms the advice is to stay at home and contact the National Pandemic Flu Service on 0800 1 513 100 (textphone - 0800 1 513 200). Each case will be assessed and if necessary treatment given.
You should send home anyone who starts to feel or exhibit flu-like symptoms, to contact the National Pandemic Flu Service and tell them not to return to work until the symptoms have cleared and they feel well enough to return.
Inform your staff that If they are absent due to illness and there is a possibility that the cause could be swine flu or their illness has been confirmed as swine flu to inform the Company.
General guidance relating to the swine flu pandemic advises large businesses to plan for employee absence levels of up to 15%, rising to 30% for small businesses and small teams. Therefore it is important that Companies are prepared by developing a contingency plan if this does happen.
Employers should consider having a number of coping strategies should levels of swine flu affect the attendance of employees to the possible predicted levels over the winter period, some examples are;
Organisations should stay up to date on the advice and guidance issued by the Department of Health (DoH), the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and the Health Safety Executive (HSE)
If you need further advice and practical help from Eden HR Consulting on employee communication and managing sickness absence please contact me for an informal initial chat.