Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:57 UK

Swine flu plan for Scottish firms

People in masks in Mexico
Firms need to do more to prepare for swine flu, business figures have said

Business organisations have agreed a campaign to raise awareness of the potential threat of a swine flu pandemic to Scottish companies.

The Federation of Small Businesses said it worried that too few companies were preparing for a wider outbreak and the consequences could be severe.

A meeting has been held between Scottish Government officials and a number of different organisations.

It was described as "positive" with a recognition for "prudent planning".

Colin Borland, of the Federation of Small Businesses, welcomed the outcome.

He said: "We now have a clearer understanding of where we go now and how we get the simple message across that businesses must prepare for swine flu without terrifying them."

Be prepared

David Teed, who runs his own business continuity company which advises firms on how to deal with a crisis, has already worked with companies preparing for a swine flu pandemic.

He said: "Some organisations we are working with are already handing out hand wipes and tissues and communicating with their staff what they should be doing."

He said he believed the onus was on companies to do all they could to put in place effective contingency arrangements.

His company has outlined the priorities for business. They include:

  • Prepare for up to half of all staff to be off sick
  • Plan for staff working from home and train them to be able to take on different work
  • Identify critical functions in the company that must carry on
  • Check suppliers have contingency plans in place
  • Establish good staff welfare policies


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