Employers have been advised to consider reducing face-to-face meetings, cancel non-essential training and introduce flexible working hours to minimise the risk of human swine flu spreading in the workplace.

Dean of the Faculty of Occupational Health at the Royal College of Physicians Dr Paul Gueret made the recommendations in Dublin today.

He was speaking at a seminar for 200 major employers.

Dr Gueret said there is no reason to panic but companies may need to look at radical new working arrangements.

He also said because of the logistics of vaccinating the whole population, employees will need to be granted two days off to get the two doses of vaccine required.

The vaccine will be administered three weeks apart in 60 mass vaccination centres around the country to be set up by the HSE.

Head of Health Protection with the HSE Dr Kevin Kelleher told the seminar that companies will cope and that the expectation is that up to 15% of the workforce could be affected and may be absent at any one time.

The meeting was organised by occupational healthcare firm Medmark.

Employer's body IBEC said that the opening hours for swine flu vaccination centres must allow for maximum flexibility.

It said they should include early morning, evening and weekend services to minimise the impact on working life.

Read the HSE's information on swine flu

The HSE's 24-hour flu information line is available on freephone 1800 94 11 00.