With flu season fast approaching, should organisations be more proactive in preventing the virus from affecting their workforce?
Flu - also known as influenza - is a highly infectious and common illness. Although frequently mistaken for minor colds, flu is actually a potentially deadly virus. From December to February, 600 people in the UK die each year from the effects of the flu virus.
Symptoms of the flu, such as headaches and nausea, can often be so debilitating that sufferers are unable to get out of bed, let alone make their way to the office.
With hundreds of thousands of people visiting their GP each winter with flu symptoms, this inevitably means that many organisations will experience under-staffing during this period. Making your own organisation at as much a risk as any.
Preventive Actions against Flu
Here are ways to try and avoid flu from affecting your organisation
1. Flu Vaccinations
Annual flu jabs are available for free on the NHS for those at risk. If anyone in your organisation meets this criteria, vaccinations should be encouraged to avoid sick leave or passing a potential virus throughout the workforce.
Additionally, more people outside of the NHS criteria are now seeking out vaccinations privately. Even supermarkets are now offering flu vaccinations to anyone who doesn’t qualify for a free one.
One method that’s becoming increasingly more popular, and may be an option for your organisation, is offering vaccinations throughout your workforce as an employee benefit. Organisations such as Flu Xpress deliver corporate vaccinations to minimise the risk of flu absenteeism.
2. Encourage employees with flu to recover at home
Avoid flu from spreading through your workforce by being aware of those who have contracted the illness.
Typically, employees who have the flu are too ill to work, however many are reluctant to take time off when ill, feeling guilty for leaving colleagues in the lurch or worrying about how their employers will react. Therefore it’s advisable to assure staff that resting at home is the best option.
3. Manage Sickness Absences
Along with offering healthcare and support to employees, managing instances of sickness during flu season is essential.
e-days’ sickness features allows managers to track employees absence by their type. It can then alert managers if flu is a potential threat. For example, if ‘flu’ is entered as an absence type during peak season, e-days can be custom-configured to alert managers of this for further action.
In addition to this, e-days can also provide individual historical reports to show whether flu has been a previous issue. If this is the case, managers can then consider options such as vaccination schemes to avoid future occurrences.
All of the above can help to reduce the risk of flu becoming a potential absence threat this winter.
Find out more about e-days’ sickness features by visiting our website or contacting a member of our sales team.