As the leaves begin to fall and the days grow shorter, businesses across the UK are once again faced with the challenge of navigating the health landscape amidst the looming threat of COVID-19 and the annual flu season ...
The recent government announcement regarding the early rollout of the flu and COVID-19 vaccination scheme has understandably raised eyebrows amongst employers. While there's no immediate cause for alarm, the approaching Autumn season presents an opportune moment for businesses to re-evaluate and reinforce their strategies for managing infectious viruses in the workplace.
In this case, if haven't already, it's worth considering the implementation of a COVID-specific policy. Such a policy could require employees to notify you of a positive COVID-19 test and stay at home, with pay, until they test negative. If they do attend the workplace, additional precautions like wearing face masks, maintaining distance, and regular sanitisation should be enforced.
As we transition into Autumn and brace ourselves for the Winter flu season, it's crucial to address the issue of 'presenteeism' which is the act of attending work despite being unwell. This not only poses a risk of spreading illnesses, but can also lead to personal burnout and stress. You should remind all your staff of the importance of prioritising health over attendance.
To minimise the risk of viral transmission, you could adopt a number of measures:
- Hygiene First: Emphasise the importance of regular handwashing and maintaining a clean workspace
- Ventilation: Ensure that workspaces are well-ventilated to reduce the concentration of viral particles
- Social Distancing: Encourage employees to maintain a safe distance from one another
- Vaccination: Advocate for employees to get vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu
- Hybrid Working: With many businesses now familiar with hybrid working models, it's easier than ever to transition employees to temporary remote work if they're at risk of transmitting an illness
The pandemic has undeniably reshaped the way businesses operate and we all have to embrace this new normal. By taking proactive steps now, you can ensure that your workforce is equipped to handle any health challenges that the coming months might bring.
Whether it's adopting a flexible work model or implementing stringent health protocols, the key is to be prepared and adaptable.
If you feel inspired to find out more about anything I've said here, do call me on 01908 774320 or leave a comment below and I'll be in touch as soon as I can.