Lateral testing and the workplace: where do you stand?

The Government has now expanded its rapid workplace lateral flow testing programme. From 9 February 2021, employers with more than 50 employees have been able to test staff for COVID-19. Previously, testing was only available to organisations with more than 250 staff. Rapid lateral flow tests continue to be provided to organisations free of charge that registered before the 12 April 2021 deadline. Rapid testing in the workplace, using lateral flow tests, aims to help protect both employees and members of the public they come into contact with - either directly or indirectly – to reduce the risk and prevent transmission. It can also provide peace of mind to employees unable to work from home during the global pandemic.

This raises the question as to whether an employer can require its employees to get tested. There are a number of issues, together with potential pitfalls and bear traps for the unwary policyholder. In terms of those employers requiring employees to take lateral flow tests, much the same health and safety based principles and employment law risks will apply as for compulsory vaccination.

Head of Employment at law firm BLM, Julian Cox, outlines the key steps for employers to consider. Click here to find out more.

Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to clients of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.

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