Employers React to H1N1 Threat

December 21, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – In response to the H1N1 flu threat, employers around the globe are taking steps such as distributing hand sanitizers (94%), implementing more frequent or intensive office cleaning (64%), and providing educational sessions (54%).

A Mercer news release said while 52% of employers in a recent survey have a local contingency plan for some or all functions, 25% have integrated contingency plans that apply to all functions and all locations.

“Organizations around the world are facing the same concerns and issues with regard to H1N1,” said Russell Robbins, a principal and senior clinical consultant for Mercer’s health and benefits consulting business, in the announcement. “Contingency plans are crucial and should define how to maximize health, safety and productivity in the workplace in the event of a pandemic. Additionally, HR policies and benefits need to be assessed as sources of information and communication with employees.”

Organizations are also communicating what is expected of their employees in case the company is affected by the H1N1 virus. Overall, two-thirds (67%) of organizations globally have done so.

In addition, the majority of companies worldwide who have communicated with their employees regarding the H1N1 virus have provided information on personal hygiene, such as washing hands and covering coughs (98%), as well as flu and health care protocols (88%) that should be enforced.

According to Mercer’s survey, 95% of respondents have up-to-date contact information for their employees in the event of illness, as well as client information to notify them in case of business interruption.

The survey, conducted in October, includes responses from nearly 1,000 organizations worldwide, including the United States, Latin America, Canada, Asia Pacific and Europe.

More information is at http://www.mercer.com/H1N1