CIPD: Half of workforce could be off sick

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Half of UK workforce could be off with swine fluUp to half of the UK’s workforce could be absent if a second wave of the swine flu pandemic hits the country, the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) has warned, which could leave businesses facing absence management problems.

As a result, the CIPD and the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) have advised organisations to ensure they have a contingency plan in place to allow them to carry on with their operations should their staff become ill.

Research by the BCI revealed that 57 per cent of employers had no such contingency plan – or a weak one – in place should the pandemic hit again.

And it claimed that while the Cabinet Office notes that absence rates should only hit 12 per cent, this does not account for school closures, which could see parents having to take time off.

Ben Willmott, senior public policy adviser at the CIPD, said: “We believe all businesses should plan for a worst case scenario, where staff absence rates reach 50 per cent.”

The Association of Professional Staffing Companies recently stated that contract and commission workers with swine flu were refusing to take time off during the recession.

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2 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. So far with a population of 1440 we have had 1 case of swine flu.Our absence has remained at below 2%. Why is the CIPD scaremongering and encouraging absenteeism?

    Have their been any cases amongst the self employed or management I doubt it. As a company we will be taking no action whatsoever to prepare for the “second wave”

  2. When will people shut up about swine flu.
    I have had it, it is flu, get over it.

    The problem is not the disease, the problem is the amount of time that journalists with nothing better to do spend writing earnest articles like this one to scare people into taking time off.

    Every winter flu takes between 5,000 and 8.000 people who are old, unwell or very young without the necessary immune system.

    Swine flu has accounted for less than thirty people in six months and none of them died of it. They died from pre existing medical conditions that were then, possibly, aggravated by the flu.

    Consider also the vaccine.
    The best you can hope for is that if taken within 48hrs of the onset, it might shorten the illness by twenty four hours.
    The worst is that the vaccine could kill you.
    They kept that quiet.

    Peter A Hunter

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