What is a Pandemic
A pandemic is the worldwide spread of disease. Outbreaks of new infectious diseases can cause more severe illness than other diseases already circulating in the population due to a lack of immunity to the new disease. This lack of immunity may also increase the pandemic potential of the new disease.
Clickatell operates internationally and therefore we reference various organisations to confirm an event as a pandemic. Our main source is the World Health Organisation (WHO).
As with any infectious illness, standard health and safety risk assessment and controls should be applied. General advice is provided to employees, such as staying at home if they are sick, covering their coughs and sneezes, washing their hands regularly, and any unwell employees with compatible symptoms (to those of the declared pandemic disease) should be sent home.
2.1 Community impact of a pandemic
In the event of any country that has an influence on Clickatell and/or our partners/vendors/customers experiencing a pandemic, and depending on the severity and transmissibility of the pathogen, large scale community, social and business disruption may occur.
2.2 Workplace impact of a pandemic
A pandemic may cause significant absenteeism across all workforces, due to employees being ill, or needing to take leave to look after sick family members. Some staff may also not wish to come to work simply out of fear of becoming ill. This represents a significant threat to the usual conduct of business and will demand prioritising essential services, and adjusting of our work practices and staffing arrangements to maintain business continuity.
Factors affecting attendance may include:
• very high absenteeism due to illness or caring for family
• absence based on fear and anxiety
• stringent infection control measures in both the community and the workplace
• reduced transport
• impact of possible deaths and serious illness among families, friends and work colleagues
It is not possible to predict the timing of the onset of a pandemic so it is imperative that our team prepare beforehand by understanding the pandemic business continuity plans.
2.3 Clickatell’s duty of care
Clickatell has to consider various country’s Acts in terms of OHS. In majority Acts, there is an underlying requirement to take all reasonably practicable steps to protect the health and safety at work of their employees.
Measures to ensure the health and safety of employees, and subsequently clients, are the driving force behind the business continuity planning for pandemic.