Flu vaccine and “flu days” are the secret to winter productivity February 12th, 2014, by Ken Buckley

Health and Wellness Managers across Australia & New Zealand are going crazy for flu vaccines right now. Everyone’s madly sorting out their quotes and booking in their places for the real roll out of vaccination services in March – May.

And rightly so. Vaccinations reduce the rates of absenteeism and presenteeism due to the influenza virus. (I can’t give you exact numbers — the stats from various research studies vary a lot. Suffice it to say, vaccines help, a lot.).

However, there are other things you can do to reduce the impact of both the flu and the common cold. Handwashing is a big one — put up posters (such as some of these) all over your bathrooms that remind employees how to wash their hands properly (10-20 seconds is a long time!).

Another strategy that has some solid evidence behind it is “flu days”. These are extra paid sick days, given with the sole purpose of not spreading the flu virus around work.

Flu days

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health looked at the effectiveness of flu days, which are designed to encourage employees to stay home longer than they currently do, to limit transmission.

According to the University of Pittsburgh in the US, where the study was conducted:

“The study found that giving employees one flu day resulted in more than a 25 percent decrease in influenza infections due to workplace transmission. A two flu-day policy resulted in a nearly 40 percent decrease.

“The researchers found that flu days were more effective for larger workplaces, defined as having 500 or more employees.”

 

PS: Did you know our flu vax price is actually cheaper than last year?! Find out more here.

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