Employers may consider internal coronavirus testing programmes in order to manage the workforce risk in the office, to put employees’ minds at rest, or to ensure staff return to work as soon as possible. With this in mind, there are many factors for employers when considering testing for employees; this includes the costs and type of the testing, the UK government scheme, how to process the data, employee refusal to take the test, as well as overall COVID-19 secure procedures and risk management. Although testing is becoming more readily available, the working from home guidance and COVID-19 protective measures in the workplace set out by the Government must still be followed by employers. As an employer, you must focus on the following aspects in relation to the pandemic, vaccinations and testing:
- Communicate: Make sure you communicate with employees at every stage, so they know where they stand, and which Government guidelines affect them.
- Be Understanding: Everybody has had different emotions and experiences during the past year and may understandably be anxious; try to understand any concerns they have and do you best to alleviate any concerns.
- Be up to date: Educate and inform yourself and your employees on any developments so that you know what steps you need to take in order to be compliant with guidelines.
- Be flexible: Be more open to flexible working requests and consider homeworking or hybrid working as a viable option for your business.
You cannot force employee’s to be tested or vaccinated for COVID-19; the Government has not made vaccination mandatory for the population.