The implications of a pandemic (or Public Health Emergency) could cause significant levels of absenteeism in the workforce potentially impacting on an organisation’s ability to maintain business operations. New and emerging flu viruses with the ability to infect many people over a wide geographical area who have little or no immunity. Other novel viruses, such as the coronavirus, can emerge with widescale impacts.
It is prudent to include a focus on pandemic planning as part of an organisation’s business continuity planning 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 or health alert 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: 24th January 2020
Pandemic Flu Planning
- Teed's Accreditations
- What is a Business Continuity Plan?
- Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery?
- BCM Standards: ISO 22301 & ISO 22313
- ICT Service Continuity Management & ISO 27301
- BCI Good Practice Guidelines
- BCM Guidance for the Oil & Gas Industry
- Pandemic Flu Planning
- Continuity Cover for SMEs
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