Human Resource Professionals Respond to Flu Season

For Immediate Release

Feb 27, 2008

A third of companies send home employees who have flu

Alexandria, Va. – “You sound terrible. Go home.” A new survey about flu in the workplace shows that 33 percent of organizations send employees home if they come to work sick. Just over one in 10 offer telecommuting options for workers who are ill but ask to work from home.

The 2008 Flu Prevention in the Workplace Survey from the Society for Human Resource Management provides a snapshot of how human resource professionals are responding to the flu season.

While most of them (59 percent) say their companies offer free flu vaccine to employees, other options are reported. Eighteen percent of companies encourage employees to get a flu shot off-site and 10 percent will pay for it. Nineteen percent offer shots onsite, but at employees’ expense. Three percent do the same, but subsidize part of the cost.

“Employers recognize the benefits of keeping their employees healthy and productive during work hours,” said Susan R. Meisinger, president and CEO of SHRM. “Flu season is a real threat to all businesses, so prevention is top of mind for HR professionals.”

Educating employees on preventative measures to reduce the spread of flu at work is an initiative reported by 47 percent of HR professionals. Other common prevention efforts include making hand sanitizer and tissues easily accessible (52 percent).

Responses were reported in the latest SHRM Weekly Survey, a topical series of polls that are usually conducted within one week and provide a glimpse into a current business issue or concern. The flu survey reflected responses of 418 randomly selected members of SHRM. The margin of error is +/-5 percent.

For more information on SHRM Surveys, please visit:

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. The Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 235,000 members in over 130 countries, and more than 575 affiliated chapters. Visit


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