Flu scare brings out the best in big business You don't know how much your employer cares about you until a crisis - such as the current influenza outbreak - looms. As a precaution, on Wednesday the government ordered primary schools and kindergarten to bring forward their Easter break and close down for two weeks. The 11th-hour edict caught many working parents off-guard. Now, how does one keep the kids occupied and out of trouble at home on such a short notice? While a Sars scenario is unlikely, it is nice to see how some big corporates quickly responded for the benefit of employees. We were told that American Insurance Group, which employs some 3,000 excluding sales agents, allowed working parents with young children different working arrangements, such as flexible working hours, working from home and taking special leave. HSBC offered free flu shots for its 16,000 employees and, for their immediate families, immunisation at a discounted fee of HK$120. Cathay Pacific covered the basics, issuing a reminder yesterday on personal hygiene. Lai See supposes it won't hurt to share this timely reminder, so here are the measures the airline put forth: 1) Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after sneezing or coughing; 2) try not to touch eyes, nose or mouth; 3) cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then discard the tissue properly after use; 4) minimise contact with communal environmental surfaces such as public computers, handrails and doorknobs; and 5) build up body immunity by having a proper diet, regular exercise and adequate rest; reducing stress and avoiding smoking. Let's stay healthy for spring, when the weather tends to be fickle. Theme parks rally to cause Which theme park in Hong Kong is more responsive to children's needs? Consider an early Easter celebration for schoolchildren. Ocean Park came up with a half-price entry ticket offer (HK$51.50) within 24 hours of the government's closure of schools, saying how being outdoor in Nature's embrace benefits children. A day later, rival Hong Kong Disneyland came out with an unlimited two-week Easter Pass at HK$218, the price of a regular one-day children's ticket. The theme park stressed it had enhanced cleaning of all public facilities and attractions to ensure compliance with the Department of Health guidelines. To be fair to the Magic Kingdom, let's keep in mind that it normally takes more time to implement any new scheme as it requires approval from its Florida headquarters. For Ocean Park, a call to chairman Allan Zeman would do. From crystal ball to beef bowl Private jet leasing ... biomedical research ... so what is the next big move for fung shui master-turned-billionaire Tony Chan Chun-chuen? Along with some friends, the man who is contending for the estate of Asia's late richest woman Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum has opened an eatery, Qube, which offers Japanese and Italian food in Lan Kwai Fong. Known to love Japanese food, Mr Chan is a shareholder of Club Qube on Wyndham Street. Apparently, there is nothing more enjoyable than comparing the mouth-watering marbled richness of Wagyu beef with the hearty texture of a Chianina steak while awaiting the outcome of a long-running inheritance battle. Hefty reward for HSBC boss What is the monetary award for being the first HSBC Chinese executive director? Answer: About HK$10 million in shares. It was disclosed that Vincent Cheng Hoi-chuen would have 82,296 shares added to his portfolio, raising his stake to 734,856 shares. At yesterday's close of HK$122.90, Mr Cheng's stake was worth about HK$90 million. He is believed to have been awarded additional shares under HSBC's restricted executive share scheme for impressive results at the bank's Asian operations, particularly China, including Hong Kong. Shipping buoyant Last year, shipping was a star industry as measured by the payout for Pacific Basin's executive directors. Each of the five active directors received pay cheques with an average of eight digits, led by chief executive Richard Hext, who made US$2.08 million (HK$16.23 million), up 24 per cent from 2006. The firm paid a bonus of HK$20 million to the five as profit growth tripled to a record US$472 million.