The implications of a pandemic could cause significant levels of absenteeism in the workforce potentially impacting on an organisation’s ability to maintain business operations. The current threat of a pandemic is from new and emerging flu viruses with the ability to infect many people over a wide geographical area who have little or no immunity.
It is prudent to include a focus on pandemic planning as part of an organisation’s business continuity management programme to enable an effective response to a pandemic virus which could vary in both severity and spread. A suggested worse case scenario would be to plan for up to 25-50% absenteeism, based on the cumulative impacts of illness, holidays, potential school closures and self absenting for other reasons, e.g. for fear of infection.
Organisations should review regularly their objectives for the continuity of business in a pandemic situation and develop practical contingencies. Pandemic planning can help ensure continuity of personnel in other situations which could impact on business continuity, for example, industrial action, severe weather conditions or other disease outbreaks.
Teed has produced a Checklist of key actions and issues that should be taken into consideration when developing plans and contingencies for managing a flu pandemic or other disease outbreak.
International guidance and advice for managing influenza preparedness and response - useful links:
- Date: 20th March 2017
Pandemic Flu Planning
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