This section relates to Lateral Flow Test guidance for Workplaces and Businesses. Scroll down for more information. You can download the National Policy below:
Screening Testing Using Lateral Flow Tests in the Workplace
Where routine screening of employees using Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) is conducted, it is recommended that it be administered regardless of whether or not persons are fully vaccinated, and as a minimum recommended standard, tests should be conducted twice weekly, with each test taken within a minimum of three days of each other.
Employers may choose to set up their own workplace testing, or they may choose to hire a third-party provider to administer the tests.
Employers may also provide employees with test kits and ask employees to carry out tests at home before attending the office and may choose to implement appropriate protocols for confirming that the tests have been administered as requested and to confirm the results.
Where testing is implemented in the workplace by employers, the employers may choose to implement the testing as a voluntary regime to which the employee is invited to participate, in order to encourage the health and safety of the entire workplace. Where a testing regime is mandatory, it is recommended that employers conduct a comprehensive assessment of any legal issues before introducing such a policy.
Where testing is introduced into the workplace by employers, the plans in respect of workplace testing should be set out in a formal workplace testing policy document. This policy should help to provide employees with sufficient information and assist in enabling testing to be carried out privately, fairly, and consistently. Employers should engage with employees prior to introducing employee testing.
The testing regime must be carried out in a manner that is compliant with the Data Protection Act (2021 Revision) and its requirements for the storing and processing of sensitive personal data relating to the health of the employees. (For related guidance, please see guidance note on “Employee Vaccination Status Checks” published by the Office of the Ombudsman.) Where LFTs are used for screening testing within an organisation, they must be implemented as part of a layered approach that includes other prevention measures, as the tests alone cannot be relied on as a means of completely eradicating SARS-CoV-2 infections within the organisation, even if employees are entirely compliant.
Other prevention and control strategies that should be implemented alongside screening testing include:
- promoting vaccination uptake;
- consistent and correct use of masks;
- physical distancing;
- handwashing and respiratory etiquette;
- improved ventilation;
- routine cleaning with disinfection;
- remote working;
- flexible working arrangements;
- split shifts or separating teams; and
- staying home when sick and getting tested.
How Much Does Screening Employees with Lateral Flow Tests Cost? Who Pays?
The full cost of implementing a screening regime using LFTs, including the purchase of LFT kits, must be borne by the employer, organisation, or individual.
What Happens If My Employee Has A Positive LFT Result?
You must use the form here to report your positive result, because SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is what is known as a notifiable disease. This means it is required to be reported to the Medical Officer of Health as soon as someone is aware of a positive result or a potential case.
Where employers introduce the reporting of results as part of their company policy, it is recommended that employers conduct a comprehensive assessment of any legal issues and ensure that the policy is carried out in a manner that is compliant with the Data Protection Act (2021) and its requirements for the storing and processing of sensitive personal data relating to the health of the employees.