In addition to the organisation’s continuity recovery planning policy, the organisation recognises the need to have a separate pandemic recovery plan and procedure. The reason for this is that a general continuity recovery plan focuses on a short-term recovery programme. Should the UK face an influenza pandemic, the effects of the pandemic could last many months.
The following procedure sets out the contingency measures that the organisation will bring into effect in the event of an influenza/avian flu pandemic.
The procedure aims to ensure that the organisation will be able to operate its business to the best of its abilities in such an event while protecting, as far as is reasonably possible, its employees.
- Departmental managers are responsible for ensuring that employees understand the organisation’s pandemic recovery plan policy and procedure. Employees are responsible for familiarising themselves with the procedure and should speak to their departmental manager should they have any questions.
- The organisation will identify an Influenza Pandemic Crisis Management Team. The team will consist of employee representatives from throughout the organisation and will include members of both senior and middle management.
- Members of the Influenza Pandemic Crisis Management Team will be trained in how to respond to a pandemic. In the event of a pandemic, members of the team will be expected to exercise leadership and make operational and business decisions, in the absence of senior and operational managers.
- As a contingency measure, employees will be cross-trained in various functions to ensure that adequate cover is provided in different roles.
- A pandemic communications strategy will be developed to ensure that employees are provided with up-to-date and accurate information on the status of the pandemic. Information will be provided to employees via the organisation’s Intranet, e-mail and, where possible, through team meetings. As well as other important information, employees will be briefed on the symptoms of the virus and who to contact should they believe they, or a colleague, has the virus. Employees will also be provided with instructions regarding personal hygiene to avoid spread of the virus.
- The organisation’s leave and absence policies will be continuously developed as the status of the pandemic changes. The leave policies that will be developed include the organisation’s sick leave policy and bereavement policy.
- Employees may be required to observe social distancing work rules to prevent the spread of influenza and will be informed of this through the organisation’s Influenza Pandemic Crisis Management team at the time. Examples of social distancing work rules include:
- avoiding unnecessary travel
- cancellation of face-to-face meetings
- working from home.
The above policy and procedure will be continuously reviewed and updated to take account of the changing status of a pandemic.