Should We Be Worried About Monkeypox?

There seems to be a lot of concern around Monkeypox at the moment. This is not surprising coming almost straight on the back of Covid, but do we really need to worry? ...

A lot of businesses are wondering what they should do in regard to their employees. Both medical experts and the Government have stated outright that Monkeypox is going to be nothing like Covid.

"It is not easily spread, and a vaccine is already available for it!"

So, this means that there is a very low chance of this spreading through the general population of the United Kingdom, and if it does, the county is well prepared for it, especially after all the procedures set up and knowledge gained from the Covid pandemic.

But it does give the sufferer an unpleasant infection like chickenpox, and you do need to think about your workforce. There are certain measures you can put in place to minimise its impact.

These include:

- Regular hand washing with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
- Only eat meat that has been cooked thoroughly
- Avoiding wild or stray animals, including dead animals and those that appear unwell
- No longer sharing bedding or towels with people who are unwell and may have Monkeypox
- Stopping close contact with people who are unwell and may have Monkeypox

Should an employee be diagnosed with Monkeypox, normal sickness procedures should be followed.

They may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, or where enhanced sick pay applies, they should be paid to this rate. Conduct a welfare meeting with the employee to understand how they are feeling (but take suitable precautions if this is face-to-face) and offer them any appropriate support measures.

"They should avoid contact with others until their lesions have healed and any scabs have dried off!"

Isolation is highly advised by the Government for those who have contracted Monkeypox and this also applies to anyone who has been in close, extended contact with a sufferer, such as a medical person or carer at home. Even sharing an extended car journey with them can lead to exposure in certain, but limited cases.

In a lot of cases, symptoms are mild and if they can work from home, they should be encouraged to, Letting an infected person into the workplace could cause the infection to spread. And if you allow this knowingly, you are in breach of the duty of care you have towards your employees, opening yourself up to legal action.

Isolation whilst suffering from Monkeypox is not a legal requirement, but it should be strongly considered.

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.