With our previous attention focused on the Covid 19 pandemic, it can be easy for employers to forget that the government also continues to promote workplace practices regarding preventing and managing influenza outbreaks in the workforce.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that employers work on encouraging workers to get vaccinated against the flu and that employers take other specific steps that help to block its spread.
- Consider hosting a flu vaccine clinic and provide resources on where to get a vaccine The CDC discusses the benefits of vaccination on its website. It also suggests how to encourage vaccination and provides specific suggestions on planning, promotion and handling a clinic’s logistics.
- Develop and review sick leave policies that encourage employees to stay home while they are sick. If an employee has a fever, they should not return to work until fever-free for 24 hours without medication. If they have other symptoms, they should stay home for four to five days after the onset of those symptoms.
- Send home any employees who are sick.
- Develop telework (if able) and adopt leave policies so employees can care for sick family members, including children who are out of school.
- Employees with a sick family member may continue to come to work as long as they are well but should monitor their condition. Those with underlying conditions or who are pregnant should seek prompt treatment if they become ill.
- Implement preventive measures at work, such as providing tissues, no-touch trash cans, and hand soap or sanitizer.