Upsurge in employers seeking to protect staff from flu

 

Leading health insurer, Bupa has seen a significant increase in the number of employers looking to protect their employees from the flu vaccinations ahead of winter. 

Leading health insurer, Bupa has seen a significant increase in the number of employers looking to protect their employees from the flu vaccinations ahead of winter.

In the past five years, the healthcare company has seen a 353% increase in the number of employers providing employees with flu jab vouchers as part of their corporate health and benefits package.

The upsurge in employers protecting their staff is backed up by figures from the Office of National Statistics which show that minor illnesses, such as the flu were the most common reason for people taking sick leave at work last year.  This accounted for 34 million lost working days[1], 24.8% of the total days lost.

Hospitals across the UK are bracing themselves for this year’s flu season which is set to be one of the worst and Bupa has already seen many businesses offering vouchers to employees, to enable them to get their flu jabs at participating pharmacies and supermarkets.

Dr Steve Iley, Bupa UK’s Medical Director said: “Flu is highly contagious and can easily be spread within an office so it is reassuring to see that businesses are taking steps to help their people stay well over the flu season.”

“Flu is one of the most common reasons for someone to be off work which can have a serious impact on productivity, however it is easily preventable. We expect demand for flu jab vouchers and our on-site nurses to grow as more businesses recognise the value of encouraging their people to be vaccinated each winter.”

 

Dr Steve Iley outlines advice on the other ways that people can prevent the flu from spreading in the workplace:

Encourage a clean hand culture

To prevent the spread of germs, everyone should be frequently washing their hands. Hand sanitisers can also do the trick; it’s a good idea to have sanitisers located in easy to access places around the workplace.

Stay at home if you’re unwell

If someone is unwell, it’s best for them to stay at home. Not only will that help them recover, it will also prevent them from spreading the flu to colleagues. Most people with the flu are able to return to work within a week, if you’re worried or symptoms continue you should see your doctor.

Keep a clean workspace

The flu is highly contagious and can be caught by touching the same area as someone with the illness. Encourage people to wipe down their workspace, especially if they work in a shared environment. Sanitised wipes are a great way to make sure the space is clean and helps prevent the spread of germs.

 

[1] Office of National Statistics- Sickness absence in the labour market: 2016

 

advo manages flu vaccine programmes and clinics on behalf of clients. You can find out more here.

 
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