Page last updated at 06:28 GMT, Monday, 4 May 2009 07:28 UK

Advice to businesses on swine flu

Various UK organisations have issued advice to businesses about what preparations to think about now, and what to do in the event that the swine flu outbreak becomes a pandemic.

These are some of their recommendations.

DEPT FOR BUSINESS, ENTERPRISE AND REGULATORY REFORM (BERR)
  • Employers should make their own individual judgements about whether to stay open
  • Businesses should plan for a possible outbreak as they do all health and safety issues
  • Prepare a business contingency plan
  • The Cabinet Office has published a leaflet: Introductory advice to staff on planning for pandemic influenza
  • It has also released a checklist of things businesses should be considering
  • The checklist suggests firms should identify which parts of their business are critical and consider having a pool of workers who could complete such tasks if necessary, such as contractors of retirees
  • Consider how they would limit face-to-face contact among employees or between employees and customers
  • Think about whether you computer systems or communications equipment need upgrading to allow staff to work from home or engage with customers via video conferencing
  • Get the latest information on the Department of Health's swine flu website

BUSINESS LINK
  • Recommends e-mailing all staff the NHS leaflet on swine flu

NHS FLU LEAFLET

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  • The key advice is to always carry tissues, use them to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and bin the tissues after one use
  • Wash your hands often with soap and hot water or a sanitizer gel
  • Avoid non-essential travel to Mexico and be aware of other countries having outbreaks
  • Business link has a page of advice on what businesses can do to deal with swine flu

EMPLOYERS' ORGANISATIONS

LONDON SCHOOL OF HYGIENE & TROPICAL MEDICINE
  • Consider measures to allow employees to work further apart within the workplace

PANDEMIC ADVICE

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  • Establish clear criteria for employees returning to work - at what stage will they cease to be infectious?
  • Plan for disruption to suppliers, even those providing basic facilities such as power or water
  • Consider health screening for employees when they enter the office


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