To jab, or not to jab? That is the question

It is that time of year when employers need to be fully prepared for the flu season, which can undeniably be bad for business. Those of us watching the news will know that the NHS is braced for the worst flu season in its history, amid fears that overcrowded hospitals will be unable to cope.

Millions of working days are lost each year in the UK because of flu. In fact, research by Unison has shown that sickness absence caused by flu costs an employer £552 per employee per year. Whereas the vaccine costs as little as £12.99.

Flu is highly contagious, and the workplace is a perfect breeding ground for the virus, so it’s not surprising that employers are beginning to think outside of the box in respect of the health of their employees.

You can be proactive in attempting to stop the spread of flu in your workplace and there is a range of advice from the NHS flu prevention guide, which lists three main ways of preventing flu spreading, which includes:

  • Getting the flu vaccination
  • Good hygiene; and
  • Antiviral medication

So, have you considered offering a company flu vaccine as part of your health measures? Jenny Harries, deputy medical director for Public Health England, said, “…… Vaccines are the best defence we have against flu…..” However, the flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective, might not be right for everybody, and it most certainly isn’t a panacea to cure all ills.

Workplace flu jabs, coupled with good hygiene communications, can make good business sense for a company, helping you ensure that your workforce is prepared, protected and fit for work. It can:

  • Reduce the cost and disruption of unexpected sick leave
  • Ensure you prioritise the health interests of your employees
  • Improve employee engagement and increases productivity
  • Promote a healthy workplace
  • Be perceived as a valuable employee benefit

In short, if you’re worried about sickness absence costs, considering the flu vaccine, or would just need to know more, now is the right time to explore further. We are entering the flu ‘high season’, and now is most definitely the time to take action.

Why not give me a call or drop me a line to find out how I can help you reduce your sickness and absence costs this winter.

e: emma@emmacbrowning.com  

t: 01280 848415