Businesses should prepare themselves for major staff disruptions, says the Business Continuity Institute

A Swine flu epidemic would hit the UK economy hard at a time of major weakness caused by the recession, warned the Business Continuity Institute (BCI).

Organisations of all sizes are being advised to put in place business continuity plans to fully prepare themselves for the Swine flu outbreak to become pandemic and seriously affect staffing levels.

Only a third of UK organisations have a business continuity plan in place to cope with increased staff illness, said the BCI. A recent report also revealed a majority of UK companies have weak or no plans at all for a flu pandemic.

Lyndon Bird FBCI, director at the Business Continuity Institute commented: ‘While we all hope that the swine flu pandemic does not become a reality, UK businesses are not prepared enough to deal with the impact of a significant outbreak. Flu pandemics will bring extended staff absence both through direct illness and the closure of schools and child care facilities.’