Covid-19 Workplace Testing Tips

Workplace Testing

While there is no law that says staff must be tested for coronavirus disease, and in most situations it is not necessary, there are some employers who might want to bring in testing as part of their workplace policy. In case you are an employer and you would to test staff, you should first talk with the staff, a recognized trade union or other employee representatives. You will need to discuss about  how testing would be carried out, how the staff would get their test results, and the process to follow in case someone tests positive for Covid-19.  Other things you need to discuss include the pay in case someone needs to self-isolate but cannot work from home, how someone’s absence would be recorded if they need to take time off work  and how testing data will be used, stored and deleted, in line with data protection law.

Any decision after that your Covid-19 workplace testing discussion should be put in writing, for instance in a workplace policy. The decision should also be made in line with your company’s existing disciplinary and grievance policy.  In case you cannot reach an agreement with staff, it is a good idea to get legal advice before bringing in a testing policy.

If your staffs are tested, it is important that everyone still follows working safely guidelines, and they should self-isolate if they have symptoms or test positive for the coronavirus disease. In some cases, staff may not want to get tested since they may be worried that if they test positive they will get paid less for being off work, or they will be treated differently. As an employer, you need to reassure your staff about being tested. You should consider changing the way the employees deal with time off after testing positive for COVID-19. For instance, you can keep staff on their usual rate of pay instead of just paying them sick pay.

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