Consider the following - and ask us for advice if you wish.
Before deciding to establish a testing programme, employers are advised that they are clear on:
- who the testing will cover – for example, whether this is all directly employed staff, or includes individuals working onsite, like contractors
- what the focus of the programme is: staff with symptoms or without symptoms
- how often staff will be tested
- appropriate facilities for carrying out the tests
- which test should be used (to be clear, virus tests are designed to detect active infection whereas antibody tests only reveal evidence of previous infection)
- what the arrangements will be for any individual who does not wish to be tested
- how the employer will use test results, including its policies on matters like handling health information, absence from work, self-isolation, diversity, non-discrimination, and so on,
- the compatibility of the programme with its legal responsibilities to staff including under health and safety, equalities, data protection and employment law.
- the affordability of implementing a testing programme
Third-party healthcare providers who want to sell a testing service are advised that they are clear with employers on:
- the benefits and downsides of testing their staff
- how reliable the results will be, and what the limitations are
- what a test result means, in non-medical language
- how they are following the measures set out in this guidance.
Third-party healthcare providers should understand what legislation and regulations they will need to follow, including around data protection and patient confidentiality and how they will meet these as required.