Addressing swine flu with absence managementAn Orange call centre in Plymouth has taken steps to maintain a healthy workforce after some employees have been confirmed as having swine flu, it has been reported.

Nine members of staff have been told to stay at home, a spokesperson from the communications company told the Plymouth Herald.

Orange is one of the city’s biggest employers, hiring 1,500 staff. Other businesses in the area with confirmed employee swine flu cases include Devonport Dockyard and Language Power Station.

The spokesperson said: "Orange is taking regular advice from the Health Protection Agency and ensuring managers and employees are updated on treatment and testing to help ensure the safety of our employees."

Protecting the health of employees, as well as implementing effective absence management, could include allowing staff to work from home. Remote working could minimise the risk of the virus spreading in workplaces and allow operations to continue running.

Delegates at a recent Whitehall meeting were informed that 40 per cent of businesses do not have response plans in place to deal with a pandemic.