Workplace safety

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Pandemic contingency plan policy

In order to be able to act quickly in response to future pandemics, your company will need to have a clear policy of how it expects to respond that is well understood by your staff. You may wish to do the following, in order to be as ready as possible for a possible future pandemic.

Identify who is responsible for ensuring staff understand the pandemic recovery plan. This may be you or a manager, HR leaders or GMs, depending on the size of your business. Staff should be tasked with familiarizing themselves with the procedure and given a contact person for questions.

Identify a Crisis Management Team. This needs to comprise employee, middle and senior management. They will be expected to exercise leadership in the absence of senior or operational managers. 

Develop a pandemic communications strategy. This will ensure that employees receive up to date and accurate information on the status of the pandemic, provide information on personal health and hygiene and will identify channels, both on- and offline, by which staff will be kept informed of relevant information and alerted to how to deal with possible incidences of the virus within the company. 

Review leave and absence policies, including policies on sickness absence, time off for dependants and bereavement leave.

Identify likely rules to be put in place to reduce infection risk. Make clear that these will be specific to the pandemic in question, but will likely include physical distancing and minimizing of face-to-face interactions as far as possible, increased levels of hygiene management, and a requirement for employees to adhere to government guidance on symptom management and self-isolation.

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