What are the Rules Around Testing Employees For COVID 19?

NHSX have issued guidance on undertaking this activity in a way that is compatible with data protection and the full guidance can be found here 

In summary;

 

  • Staff within the NHS are eligible for testing

  • It is important to note that you cannot compel staff to get tested. 

  • As an employer you can ask staff whether they have been tested and if they have what the results are however the employee does not have to provide those results unless it impacts on their ability to work. 

  • If the staff member tests positive and has been in contact with colleagues / patients during the time between when they believe they were exposed and being tested / showing symptoms you must notify all those that were in contact so that they can self isolate and potentially be tested. When notifying these individuals you must not name the staff member but rather state one of your staff. 

  • NHSx have also made it clear that the ICE database must only be accessed for clinical reasons by those caring for the patient. It must not be accessed by non-clinical staff such as HR or Occupational Health departments.