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Friday, 16 October 2009

Local Group's National Flu Plan

Locally-based International Centre for Infectious Diseases launched a website today called BusinessFluPlan.ca.

It has advice, templates and other resources aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses (less than 500 employees) develop plans in case the flu gets worse as winter comes. Part of the program is
a national tour of cities and webinar series coming over the next month or so.

If H1N1 does pick up steam I'd be interested to see
how sick leave policies will work and whether businesses, or governments, step up to the plate about them. The PHAC rule of thumb is that if you are sick, stay home until your symptoms clear up
which can be from 2 to 7 days. Hmmmm.....

I certainly don't want someone sick serving me, especially if I am in a vulnerable state like in a hospital or similar setting. Still, I cannot imagine many people taking that sort of time off. For people in many hourly jobs, say at a restaurant or retail, three days off means three days no pay. Even for those with generous sick leave policies a lot of people will try to work through an illness or come back to work while still showing symptoms.

A CROP poll released yesterday found that nearly 25% of Queb├ęcois would show up at work even if they knowingly were sick with the H1N1 virus. That's not going to do much to help contain things.

Related:

PHAC's "Business & H1N1" page.

HR: Prepare your business, staff for H1N1 concerns
Winnipeg Free Press Oct 10, 2009
Retailers and many other businesses are also providing hand sanitizers at every counter while facility managers have placed special hand sanitizer modules in front of their elevators.

Swine flu raises questions about sick leave policies
CBC News September 25, 2009
Smaller businesses that can't afford to pay employees to take time off when they are sick are struggling with what to do if a second wave of swine flu hits this fall.

Biggest pandemic worry for business: absenteeism
CIDRAP News Sep 25, 2009
Business officials who attended a conference this week on how the business world can cope with the H1N1 influenza pandemic said employee absenteeism was far and away their leading concern

Business panelists stress practicality to slow flu spread
CIDRAP 23 September 2009
To mask or not to mask, hand washing versus hand sanitizers, how long to stay away from the workplace if sick with novel H1N1 influenza, tips for travel—these were some of the issues addressed in a panel discussion yesterday during a business preparedness summit in Minneapolis.

Crossing fingers won't lick H1N1
Winnipeg Sun 22 September 2009
One business owner I talked to recently told me that the company's plan to deal with any potential outbreak of the H1N1 virus and the impact it may have on the business is to simply cross their fingers and hope for the best.

Survey: U.K. businesses see flu risk but have planning gaps
Financial Times Sep 21, 2009
A survey of 400 companies by the British law firm DLA Piper revealed that about half of them believe they are at high or very high risk for disruptions caused by the next wave of pandemic flu. About 80% said they were reviewing their continuity plans, but only slightly more than half had communicated the strategies to employees, customers, or suppliers.

2 comments:

Stimpson said...

And, of course, this stay-at-home directive depends on employers being understanding of someone who decides to play it safe.

mrchristian said...

Yes, for sure. especially where they could be at the point of having 10 or 20% of employees affected.