Academic journal article Manager

"International Business Could Fall Victim to Bird Flu"

Academic journal article Manager

"International Business Could Fall Victim to Bird Flu"

Article excerpt

The Business Threats of Bird Flu

1. Staff shortages through employees taking time off being ill, or to care for others, or to avoid infection.

2. Difficulty in finding cover for absent staff.

3. Cost of stringent health & safety policies and procedures for preventing spread of the virus.

4. Public transport disruption, making it difficult or impossible for staff to get to work.

5. Cost of home-working solutions for those unable to attend work.

6. Disruption to supply chain.

7. Disruption to business travel, especially by air.

UP to half of staff could fall ill or be absent from work if a bird flu pandemic hits, the UN having recently warned that the virus is spreading. However, managers are still failing to recognise the financial blow that bird flu could have on their businesses, and are not making contingency plans quick enough, according to leading UK provider of business information and advice, Croner.

Managers, who fail to consider both coping with staff shortages and practical workplace hygiene, could risk bird flu potentially damaging the economic health of their businesses.

Croner is receiving a growing number of calls to its telephone helplines from some managers unsure if they should prepare for bird flu, but Richard Smith, employment services director, says many of its clients are underestimating, or are unconcerned, about the potential impact of the virus.

Smith says: "No one really knows whether the virus will become a pandemic, but after the UN warning, we're advising employers to be prepared for the worst. "

He believes that managers should evaluate all real and perceived risks to their organisation. "While it may be more front of mind to prepare for other threats, such as terrorism, a pandemic could cause even greater disruption. …

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