Visana quarantines staff after "risky" holidays

The Swiss health insurance company Visana has confirmed it is demanding that its employees stay at home for a week on returning from a swine flu risk country.

This content was published on July 22, 2009 - 15:44

It is now seeking expert advice on whether it has to pay employees affected by the move.

Confirming a report in the Berner Zeitung newspaper, Visana spokesman Christian Beusch said staff had been informed of the measure earlier this year.

Until now the company has not paid those employees affected by the one-week quarantine. Visana is to make a final decision on pay after the experts have given their opinion.

"We know that the legal position is delicate," Beusch said.

Twelve company employees have so far had to stay off work without pay for a week. Depending on the outcome of the expert appraisal, they may have the week considered as work. Visana has a staff of about 1,500.

At present there are no staff in quarantine but the company expects there will be several people affected in the coming weeks, particularly those who return from Spain, the United States, the Caribbean and Britain.

Swiss health authorities have warned that up to two million people in Switzerland may be affected by swine flu – almost one in four of the population.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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