Swine flu: guidance and advice for employers and HR

Another outbreak of Swine flu has hit the UK, and is expected to hit employees and employers severely.  With significant rise in the number of flu cases, including the H1N1 “swine flu” virus, the focus for everyone – especially employers and HR – must be on managing the outbreak.

WarningWarning: This page has been replaced by a new dedicated page on flu pandemics and outbreaks.

This page is no longer updated and has been replaced by Personnel Today’s employer guide to seasonal flu and flu pandemics. Employers can find the latest news and guidance on flu outbreaks here

Further resources are available below:

Employer FAQs on Swine flu

Health and safety: Flu pandemic contingency plan (policy)

Line manager briefing on short-term sickness absence

Infectious diseases in the workplace policy

Recent figures from FirstCare, which monitors absence rates for the public and private sector, found that 275,000 workers were off sick with flu symptoms following the New Year bank holiday.

But there is much that employers can do to prepare for swine flu outbreaks. We have republished Personnel Today’s selection of the most reliable employer and HR-relevant information.  Bookmark this page or sign up to our RSS feeds to ensure you stay up-to-date with the swine flu pandemic.


Swine flu – top tips on planning for and coping with a flu pandemic

1. Put contingency plans in place now

The main difficulty facing businesses is that there are likely to be high levels of staff absence for a variety of reasons, including illness, caring for others, or travel bans/restrictions.

2. Review and update your policies

Employers should review and update employment policies and procedures which may be affected and monitor any changes to official advice.

3. Put in place measures to protect the health and safety of your employees

Employers are under a duty to take steps which are reasonably necessary to ensure the safety of their employees, and not subject them to unnecessary risks of injury. 

Read the full list of five top tips for employers

Swine flu videos from Personnel Today and HR Network TV



Swine flu: External resources for employers

Swine flu virusNHS guidance for employers 

Official NHS leaflet on swine flu – recommended to be emailed to employees

Health and Safety Executive – general advice for employers

NHS Direct swine flu symptoms guide

Advice for pregnant workers on swine flu

Swine flu – international travel advice


Business Link – guide to business continuity management

Business Link – how to handle workplace infections and diseases

The latest information on the swine flu pandemic on Personnel Today’s sister site XpertHR. Information includes model policies on contigency planning and infectious diseases, occupational health advice and practical steps employers can take.
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Flu pandemic contingency plan

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Swine flu contingency plan


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