NUJ issues swine flu guidance for journalists
30 April 2009
The NUJ has urged members covering swine flu outbreaks to ensure they are well informed about protecting themselves from the virus.
The union is advising members to check official information sources on a regular basis to keep up to date with advice about infection prevention. It is also warning employers that journalists should not be compelled to go out to cover cases of reported infection.
The union's advice for members who have to go out to addresses of swine flu cases is:
- Check the latest official advice on a daily basis. Information sources include the UK Health Protection Agency, UK Health and Safety Executive and the Irish Health Service Executive;
- Only volunteer to go out to report on cases of infection if you feel comfortable in doing so. No employee should be required to attend;
- Where appropriate, consider the use of facemasks if you do go out to report on cases of infection;
- Chapels should oppose any proposed disciplinary action taken for refusal to attend. If there is a problem please contact your union official.
Organisations have a duty of care to their employees, the NUJ is encouraging union health and safety reps to ask management to carry out risk assessments.
There is guidance from the TUC on global pandemic flu that was published in 2007 and is still relevant.
If you need further advice, contact your NUJ official.