--> Gill Blog: Is Your Business Ready for a Flu Pandemic?

Gill Blog

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Is Your Business Ready for a Flu Pandemic?

Ford & Harrison attorneys, and F&H Solutions Group, have an interesting article posted on the firm's website as a Legal Alert:
In light of the extensive news coverage given to the possibility of an Avian flu pandemic, many employers are concerned about their operations as well as potential legal obligations should such a pandemic occur. This Alert provides guidance for developing a plan to help ensure the safety of the workplace should a pandemic occur. Having operational as well as communication plans may also prepare the organization in the event of other emergencies...

6. Identify your company policies and how they would be affected by a pandemic.

What is your company's policy on sick leave? To what extent are employees able to carry over or share/bank accrued sick leave? What are the implications of such a policy under wage payment and benefits laws?

What is your company policy on medical leave? Have you considered developing leave policies to be used in a pandemic situation that encourage employees to remain at home if they are sick or are caring for sick dependants? Such policies should be clearly worded to apply only in situations that implicate the use of your emergency management plan, to ensure they do not affect your day-to-day policies. Limit the contours of your plan to prevent it from working against you .

Do you have a telecommuting policy or at least an emergency telecommuting policy? Have you addressed any possible security concerns (through technology and through agreements creating binding legal obligations) if more employees are forced to work remotely?

Do your company policies address issues that may arise in a possible pandemic, such as: quarantine policies, social distancing policies, and increased sanitation policies to ensure a healthy work place?

You can find the complete article here. This is a very clearly written article that would be a good outline for discussions about company preparedness amongst any corporate executive group.


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