Businesses bear the brunt of the winter bug

blog-publish-date

16 Jan 2013

blog-read-duration

London 21 December 2012 - A sharp increase in Norovirus questions from worried bosses has led to HR and health & safety expert Croner issuing urgent guidance on managing the situation in the workplace. Croner receives a large number of telephone calls at this time of year relating to seasonal illnesses. This has rocketed in recent weeks as the Norovirus bug has spread rapidly. Louise Barnes, Senior Employment Consultant at Croner, says: “With the winter vomiting bug already affecting over 800,000 people in the UK, it clearly is a great cause for concern for employers. We have had a large number of calls ranging from how to contain an outbreak to managing absence. Many organisations have seen a large percentage of their workforce affected, which in industries such as retail or hospitality causes a massive problem at their busiest time of year. “From an employment perspective Croner strongly recommends that employers remind themselves of their sickness absence and sick pay policies and ensure that they apply them consistently and fairly. “For bosses who are dealing with employees that are being advised to stay off, perhaps because they are living with someone who has recently had the illness, or have been advised by a medical practitioner to wait 24-48 hours before returning to work, we recommend that the employee should cover their absence with self-certification as this would be preferable to medical suspension. “Generally speaking absence due to Norovirus should be treated in much the same way as any other short-term absence.” Fiona Burns, Health & Safety Consultant at Croner, says: “The Norovirus is easily spread by contact with an affected person, particularly through their hands. You can also catch it via contaminated food or drink or by infected surfaces or objects. So when you are preparing your in-house Christmas parties make sure you stick to strict hygiene rules. “To prevent and reduce the impact of the winter sickness bug in the workplace, employers should encourage staff to wash hands frequently and provide antibacterial hand gel in public areas such as a reception. Think twice before you give your colleague a Christmas kiss or shake their hand. “All surfaces that an infected person has touched should be disinfected and it is a good idea to regularly clean high traffic areas and items such as door handles.” Croner provides expert information and advice for employers on a wide range of employment and health and safety issues. Contact us on 0800 634 1700 for further information on our products and services.

Free to Download Employer Resources

  • How to make reasonable adjustments for mental health in the workplace

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    How to make reasonable adjustments fo...

    Read more
  • Sample Health & Safety Communication and Consultation Policy

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Sample Health & Safety Communication ...

    Download Croner's sample health & safety communication and consultation policy, here.

    Read more
  • Adverse Weather Policy

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Adverse Weather Policy

    Here we’ve included a free sample adverse weather policy that UK business owners can refer to...

    Read more
  • Conducting an Equal Pay Audit

    BLOG

    Conducting an Equal Pay Audit

    The equal pay act sets provisions for organisations to follow the same pay syste...

    Read more
  • Health & Safety Changes to Look Out For in 2019

    BLOG

    Health & Safety Changes to Look Out F...

    The news at the start of this year has been dominated by Brexit and its potentia...

    Read more
  • Understanding Wage Differentials and Identifying Factors That Affect It

    BLOG

    Understanding Wage Differentials and ...

    The first step to understanding wage differentials is knowing the distinction be...

    Read more
  • Solicitors Benevolent Association

    CASE STUDY

    Solicitors Benevolent Association

    “The reason for using Croner was the high-profile track record and the credibili

    Read more
  • John Taylor Hospice

    CASE STUDY

    John Taylor Hospice

    “A large number of the queries are around employment law and rights in areas suc

    Read more
  • Motorsport Industry Association

    CASE STUDY

    Motorsport Industry Association

    “I’m so happy with the service Croner provide, I’d be hard pressed to find a fau

    Read more

Ready to focus on what you do best?

Get your free consultation and speak to an expert today.