Navigation Links
If You Haven't Yet, Plan Now for a Pandemic, CCH Advises Employers

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 (

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 was almost a 100-percent increase over 2006, when only 14 percent of companies surveyed had such plans, however, it still represented just over one in four organizations.

"In 2007, there was heightened awareness of the need for pandemic planning because of concern over a possible avian flu pandemic," Henson noted. "That outbreak never materialized; hopefully organizations have continued to develop plans in the meantime."

Must Address "Presenteeism"

In establishing a plan to cope with a possible pandemic, organizations must address the phenomenon known as "presenteeism," which occurs when employees show up for work sick. This can have a significant and costly impact on an organization, not only in terms of risking the spread of disease, but also in terms of diminished productivity, quality and attention to safety.

"We all know what it feels like to have the flu - you're not operating at 100 percent, you may not even be operating at 50 percent," said CCH Employment Law Analyst Brett Gorovsky, JD. "The bottom line for most organizations is that it's in everyone's best interest for sick workers to simply stay away, even in normal times."

"Employers need to discourage both the 'hero employee' - and even more so, the 'hero boss' - who try to muddle their way through the day when they shouldn't," said Gorovsky. "Employees are sensitive to the differences between what management says and what it means, and when they see their supervisors coming in sick, they're convinced that's what's expected of them also."

Organizations that build pandemic plans may also help address their everyday presenteeism issues.

"As part of developing a pandemic plan, organizations need to thoroughly examine all their practices and procedures," said Gorovsky. "Many organizations that take these steps will then roll them out as part of their overall HR practices, making sure they're adequately addressing employee illness, whether it's just a mildly severe flu season or a serious pandemic."

Additional Resources for Employers

CCH recommends the following basic steps to prepare for a pandemic:

  • Identify a pandemic coordinator or team with defined roles and responsibilities for preparedness and response planning;
  • Identify key employees and key work processes required to maintain business operations during a pandemic;
  • Establish (or review) an emergency communications plan;
  • Seek up-to-date information from local and state health and emergency management resources; and
  • Remind employees to get in the habit of washing their hands often and cover their mouths and noses when they cough and sneeze.

For more guidance, CCH recommends the following resources for employers interested in developing a pandemic response plan:

About Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

Wolters Kluwer Law & Business is a leading provider of research products and software solutions in key specialty areas for legal and business professionals, as well as casebooks and study aids for law students. Its major product lines include Aspen Publishers, CCH, Kluwer Law International and Loislaw . Its markets include law firms, law schools, corporate counsel and professionals requiring legal and compliance information. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, a unit of Wolters Kluwer, is based in New York City and Riverwoods, Ill. Wolters Kluwer is a leading global information services and publishing company. The company provides products and services for professionals in the health, tax, accounting, corporate, financial services, legal, and regulatory sectors. Visit for information about our market positions, customers, brands, and organization.

SOURCE CCH, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Available for Interviews: Pandemic, Disease Outbreak Expert to Discuss Swine Flu
2. Russell Investment Group Advises Protalix Biotherapeutics of Index Adjustment
3. My Medicare Matters(TM) Advises Evaluating Your Current Medicare Part D Plan During Open Enrollment
4. SaltWorks, Inc. Advises Table Salt Alternatives
5. Tax Planning Ideas: Sound Strategies Protect Wealth, Advises Whitnell & Co.
6. Croft & Bender Advises Atlanta-based Alliance Surgery, Inc. in Its Acquisition by HealthMark Partners, Inc. of Nashville
7. Dont Wait for the Election to Plan Your Long-Term Healthcare, Insurance Leader Advises
8. Social Security Statement Advises Seniors to Consider Private Long-Term Care Insurance, LTC Agency Reports; Medicare Wont Cover It
9. Red Cross Advises Evacuees to Stay Put Until Conditions Are Safe
10. AVMA Advises Consumers That Pork and Pork Products Are Safe for Consumption
11. Massachusetts Employers and Health Plans Continue to Support Quality Care by Rewarding Physicians through Bridges to Excellence Programs
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... According to an ... the city of San Antonio, Texas recommended that any high-rises in the city limits ... safety systems going forward. The article explains that it wasn’t until 1982 that the ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 , ... ... and RunPhones, teams up with the Cleveland Clinic in honor of Breast Cancer ... in the Sunset Pink color, AcousticSheep will donate a SleepPhones® Classic product to ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... On July 22nd four ... mission: To paddle the entire 2,320-miles of river to the Gulf of Mexico. Their ... with the monumental journey, with two months remaining for a November 22nd arrival at ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... 12, 2015 , ... Santa Clara dentist , Dr. Alan Frame, shares his insight on ... ADHA white paper announcement. , “I want each one of my patients to be at ... states Santa Clara dental implants dentist , Dr. Frame. He mentions, "As the white ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... FL (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 , ... For ... this year earning the highest distinction with its first Platinum Award. , The ... winner status, but also earned a score of at least 9.0 or above out ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... 2015 ,The  pharma  ADMET ... as they look to implement more-predictive ADMET testing. ... new report by  visiongain . --> ... from pharmaceutical companies as they look to implement ... appear in a new report by  visiongain . ...
(Date:10/12/2015)...  Today, Divurgent is honored to announce Paul Anderson ... CIO, Paul brings 15 years of hands-on experience as a ... today,s CIOs, he is one. The challenges that face today,s ... and his new role with Divurgent allows him to lead ... organization. ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Beginning October 1, 2015 All HIPAA Covered ... growing practice management system for therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists ... patient diagnostic codes from the former DSM-4/ICD-9, to the ... --> Therapy Partner has also generated a ... to easily understand the conversion to ICD-10 codes; this ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: