The government is certainly keen for employers to carry out COVID-19 testing in the workplace and is even offering to provide those employers who have 50 or more employees with testing kits free of charge until 30 June 2021. Importantly, to access these kits, employers must register via the online portal by 31 March 2021. Those will less than 50 employees can direct their staff to community testing sites. Whilst testing clearly has a key part to play in protecting everyone as we come out of lockdown, employers still need be alive to the legalities involved, from considering testing as part of any workplace risk assessment to ensuring data protection obligations are met. There will also need to be thought given to arrangements both for those who do not want to be tested and for those who test positive.
We want as many employers as possible to sign up to regularly test their employees. This will reduce the risk of transmission among those who cannot work from home and ensure vital public and economic services can continue.