During a pandemic, it’s important that employers keep their employees healthy. While most pandemics stay confined to certain geographic areas, the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic spread across the world in just over a year and killed an estimated 20-100 million people.
Employees may be worried about their own safety if something like this were to happen again, so it’s important for employers to do to keep their employees healthy.
How employers choose to do that will depend on the type of business they’re in, but there are some basic things all employers should do.
You might save a lot of lives if you follow these five steps to keep your employees healthy during a pandemic.
Offer Paid Sick Days
“In the event, an employee is sick or otherwise unable to work, my company offers paid leave so they can stay home and get better,” says Maxim Gorin. “That way, we’re still contributing to their income, even though they’re out of commission.”
Paid sick days are also an incentive for employees to stay home when they’re ill, instead of infecting their co-workers.
Provide the Right Equipment
Your employees need equipment that will help them stay healthy.
Make sure that you have masks, gloves, and other items for them to use to keep them from getting the flu or any other viruses that are going around.
During a pandemic, the CDC recommends that employers provide alcohol-based hand rub or gel, tissues and waste containers for every work station, and quick disinfection of commonly touched surfaces such as tabletops and keyboards.
Clean Up Any Messes They Might Make While Ill
Employees might not realize that they could be making a mess at work as a result of being sick.
Provide bathrooms, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and disinfectant so your employees can clean up in case they can’t fight whatever might be causing them to feel sick.
Make Sure They Stay Hydrated at Work
Employees need to make sure they drink plenty of fluids, including water or electrolyte drinks like Gatorade.
If they can’t leave their work area, provide water bottles or bottles of juice that they can keep at their desk.
Your employees will appreciate it if you help them stay hydrated when they’re sick.
Let Them Know How You’ll Handle Their Workload in Their Absence
In the event that an employee is too sick to work, make sure you let them know how you’ll handle their workload.
In some cases, it might be possible for you to send out a reminder about a meeting or assignment before it’s due, but in other cases, the person might need the day off.
Alternatively, you may want to consider allowing them to work remotely when they’re sick, so they don’t have to infect their co-workers.
It’s important that your employees stay healthy in order for them to do their jobs and take care of themselves.
It’s important for companies to follow these five steps because employees are less likely to come to work when they’re sick if they know companies can take care of them.
It might also help you avoid a major issue if employees have to stay home during a pandemic.