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If You Haven't Yet, Plan Now for a Pandemic, CCH Advises Employers
Date:4/29/2009

RIVERWOODS, Ill., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The very real possibility of a swine flu pandemic should be a wake-up call to the many organizations that have not developed a plan to cope with widespread employee illness, according to CCH, part of Wolters Kluwer Law & Business. To reduce the impact on operations, employees, customers and the general public, it is important for all organizations that haven't done so to begin continuity planning for a pandemic now, CCH says. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business is a leading provider of research information and software solutions in key specialty areas for legal, business compliance and human resources professionals (http://www.hr.cch.com).

Unlike natural disasters or terrorist events, an influenza pandemic would be widespread, affecting multiple areas of the U.S. and other countries at the same time. A pandemic would also be an extended event, with multiple waves of outbreaks in the same geographic area; each outbreak could last from six to eight weeks. Waves of outbreaks might occur over a year or more.

"A pandemic could affect as many as 40 percent of the workforce during periods of peak illness. Employees could be absent because they are sick, they must care for sick family members or for children if schools or day care centers are closed, or they are afraid to come to work," said CCH Workplace Analyst Heidi Henson, JD. "Lack of continuity planning can result in a cascade of failures as employers attempt to address challenges of a pandemic with insufficient resources and employees who might not be adequately trained in the jobs they will be asked to perform."

In 2007, the CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey revealed that only 27 percent of companies reported that they had a plan in place in the event that a large percentage of employees become ill. This wa
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SOURCE CCH, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business
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