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RMIF warns dealers over swine flu

The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) is advising motor sector businesses to make sure they have measures in place to deal with the impact of swine flu.

Sue Robinson, RMIF director, said: “Retail motor sector staff is highly skilled, and most dealers and garages field small, highly specialized teams.

“This means any absences resulting from the swine flu outbreak could have implications for the short-term viability of businesses in late summer and early autumn period.

"Therefore it is imperative for employers to put measures in place to keep their businesses running efficiently despite staff absences.”

Measures to mitigate the impact of swine flu include:

  • Identify staff that have interchangeable and key skills, who can then provide emergency cover for colleagues who are off sick.
  • Provide additional training for any staff who are required to carry out unfamiliar jobs as a result of staff absences.
  • Opt into medical schemes offering employees fast access to anti-viral treatments such as Tamiflu.

If staff are required to work longer hours as the result of team-members being off sick, employers should make sure that those staff are working within the provisions of the Working Time Regulations. This may include the signing of an opt-out agreement.

Employers should also ensure that any absence/sickness policy explains how they will deal with someone who has flu-like symptoms at work or who has been exposed to someone who has or may have those symptoms.

Robinson said: “Businesses that are prepared should be able to deal with the situation.”

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