Preventing H1N1 at Home

A Sickening Situation

Discouraging employees from coming into work when they are contagious is important. But keeping them from getting the flu in the first place is the best strategy. With that in mind, here are a few tips worth passing on to clients:

Educate employees to take the preventative step of getting a flu vaccination. Provide information on places where they can get the flu shot. The website Flu.gov is a handy online resource.

Address misplaced fears employees may have. For those who see the H1N1 vaccination as a riskier proposition than the flu itself, it may be worth noting that President Obama and the First Family received the shots.

Encourage employees who say they are too busy to get vaccinated to find the time. One option is to offer staff a few hours of paid time off to get the shot. Another might be to offer transportation to and from a vaccination clinic.

Overcome all financial or convenience-related objections. This can be as simple a matter as offering to pay for the vaccination, or as elaborate as bringing a doctor to the employer's home.

Finally, it is worth remembering that the best way for wealthy employers to address fear and encourage action among domestic staff is through their own example. This means getting a flu shot themselves if they have not yet done so.

Andrew McElwee is EVP of Chubb & Son and COO of Chubb Personal Insurance.

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