In light of frontline NHS staff now to receive coronavirus tests, the need for COVID-19 tests for regular businesses and their employees to get back to work, in any sort of capacity, is something that needs to be considered.
There is huge uncertainty around when staff are safe to return to work and how we make sure people without symptoms, who may have the virus, are not going to be potentially spreading coronavirus through workplaces.
It is first essential to follow all government recommendations to stay safe, washing hands and avoiding close contact with people. However, a second route involves the use of rapid instant screening tests.
Here are a collection of expert opinions on if employers should consider providing Coronavirus testing kits to their employees.
Michelle Raymond, HR Specialist and CEO, The People’s Partner said, “It is imperative that testing is carried out with employees. There have been a number of cases where some staff have not exhibited the full symptoms that the public health services have mentioned so these staff members had not realised that they had the virus which could have been passed on to others. Testing will eradicate the possibility if someone has the virus or not.
“Employers have a duty of care to all their employees and now more than ever. This is an implied term of every contract of employment. If there is a chance to stem the spread, reestablish working practices and rebuild the economy, while we are at it, I believe every employer has the responsibility to do so and HR are on hand to see that process through.”
Richard Skellett, Future of work expert, Digital Anthropology said, “I won’t state the obvious by talking about the importance of essential workers and the need around testing as that’s widely covered. Michael Gove was asked how we are going to fund the crisis. The answer is that “we the victims” will fund this crisis with taxes and is imperative that we now think about how we get the workforce back to work.
“How do we decide to manage this program and what’s the importance of it? Those workers who can work virtually arguably should be last to be tested. The physical, non-virtual workforce, who have physical interaction with others must be the priority.
“The quicker we can bring that group back into helping the economy to grow the quicker we will make progress. The individuals in this sector need to be just as fully supported as those essential workers and the quicker we get support to those people through the companies they work for the better”