Outbreaks of H1N1 flu might have struck your business this past spring and summer. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) anticipates that more workplaces will be affected by flu — both H1N1 and seasonal— as we head into winter. There’s also the risk that communities and workplaces might be more severely affected, reflecting the wider transmission and possibly greater impact of flu viruses.
The CDC strongly advises businesses to create a flu-control strategy based on these guidelines:
- Protect employees who are at increased risk of flu-related complications from infection.
- Analyze your company’s normal seasonal absenteeism rates, and monitor workers for any unusual increases in absenteeism.
- Contact state and local health departments to confirm channels of communication and methods for disseminating information on local outbreaks.
- Allow sick workers to stay home without fear of losing their jobs.
- Develop flexible leave policies so that workers can stay home to care for sick family members or for children if schools dismiss students or childcare programs close.
- Share your pandemic flu plan with employees, and explain what human resources policies, workplace and leave flexibilities, and pay and benefits will be available to them.
- Share best practices with other local businesses (especially those in your supply chain), Chambers of Commerce, and associations to improve community response efforts.
- Do a focused discussion or exercise using your plan to find out ahead of time whether there are gaps or problems that need correction before flu season.
- Add a “widget” or “button” to your company Web page or employee Web site so that employees can access the latest information on influenza. For suggestions, go to www.cdc.gov/widgets/ and www.cdc.gov/SocialMedia/Campaigns/H1N1/buttons.html.
We’d be happy to work with you in developing a flu control plan that’s tailored to your needs – just give us a call.