Two-thirds of firms have been effected by swine fluTwo-thirds of businesses in the UK have already felt the impact of swine flu on their operations, which may mean firms need to do more to ensure a healthy workforce.

Research conducted by the law firm Eversheds has revealed that 72 per cent of employers have reported swine flu absenteeism.

However, 41 per cent of respondents admitted they do not have a contingency plan in place to cope with heightened levels of staff taking sick leave, while 38 per cent felt the pandemic could lead to a loss of revenue.

Furthermore, 21 per cent of businesses believed they would have to close their entire or part of their work premises as a result of the illness.

Martin Warren, head of employment law at Eversheds, said: “All organisations should have a contingency plan in place which addresses the risk of swine flu and tackles business continuity issues should the virus take hold.”

He added that given the recession, minimising the possibility of business interruption as a result of the illness should be a priority.

And firms may also wish to tackle skiving employees, after Employment Law Advisory Services revealed it had seen an increase in calls from managers believing staff were using swine flu as an excuse to stay off work.