Business continuity planning is increasingly part of normal business practice. Large enterprises recognise the need to respond effectively to disruptions caused by factors outside their control.
The Government has plans in place for its own response in the event of an influenza pandemic. Every business should put their own continuity plans in place, to be activated in the case of an event such as a pandemic caused by avian flu or events such as acts of terrorism or natural disasters. By preparing business continuity plans for these risks, companies can minimise the resulting disruption in their operations.
For example, a flu pandemic is likely to cause a sharp increase in employee absences, particularly during the main waves of infection. It may disrupt customer demand, the flow of supplies, and the operation of systems of transport and logistics used by businesses. Companies will also have to make operational changes to reduce the risk of infection in the workplace.
Businesses should not only prepare their own plans to minimise disruption during an unexpected event, they should also test these plans regularly through exercises.
Details on how businesses should prepare a plan in the event of an influenza pandemic and what this plan might contain are available here.