Lateral flow testing in the workplace

Can you make workplace Covid testing mandatory?

Are you still deciding if workplace testing is right for the business, or if it’s a necessity? Employers have a responsibility of care to safeguard the health and safety of all their workers, therefore requesting an employee who is exhibiting Covid- 19-related symptoms to take a test would be considered appropriate and responsible. However, because there is no existing regulation requiring employees to be tested for Covid-19 in the workplace daily, this decision would be to the employer’s discretion.

Employee’s refusing to participate in Lateral Flow Testing 

It is critical to determine why an employee is refusing to participate in Lateral Flow Testing. Employers should exercise caution if they intend to make Lateral Flow Testing mandatory in the workplace. Disciplinary action taken against employees who refuse to participate in required testing may be considered unjust punishment, especially if the cause for the refusal is not investigated.

How to encourage regular testing in the workplace

Employees are more inclined to participate in regular testing if they understand its significance and how the testing process works. The following are the essential points that should be communicated:

  • How testing should be carried out
  • How employees would receive their test results
  • The process to follow in the event where an employee tests positive for covid
  • The pay arrangements where an employee needs to self-isolate and cannot work from home
  • How the absence will be recorded, should they need to take the time off work?
  • How the data will be used, stored, and deleted in line with UK GDPR

Do we need to consult with employees before we introduce a testing scheme?

Yes. Employers are required by law to communicate with their employees about health and safety. (For a more in-depth discussion on re-opening the office, read our FAQ on Support for returning to the office.)

Should we have a testing policy?

Yes, if you want to conduct testing within your business. In a thorough internal communications policy, you’ll want to explain why you’re asking employees to be tested, as well as the advantages. This section should explain why the company has opted to conduct testing and what expectations it has of its employees in terms of testing and compliance with other safety measures. Risk assessments should also be up to date.

At Spire HR we can help with advice, support, payroll, and much more – we do this on a flexible retainer or pay-as-you-go basis. If you have any questions or need advice about anything that is mentioned in the blog, then we are here to help!