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Coronavirus: worksite testing

16 February 2021

Around 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 do not show symptoms (they are asymptomatic). This means rapid testing and follow-up action can highly effective at identifying people who have the disease and who may be passing it on unknowingly.
The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) has produced a presentation on the support available for businesses to introduce free asymptomatic Lateral Flow Device (LFD*) testing onsite/in the workplace.
Companies or sites with more than 50 workers who cannot work from home are now encouraged by the Government to sign up for workplace testing via an online portal
Sites with multiple contractors

DHSC is aware that many construction workplaces have multiple contractors/employers onsite. Build UK has advised ECA that where this is the case, DHSC recommends that the Principle Contractor applies for the tests (and says how many sites they want to cover). We are advised that DHSC will then help facilitate ordering, and delivery of, the required number of tests for each site workforce.

Please note that employee testing is not mandated by the government for either employers or employees. Employees receive the test results, and if they are positive the employee should isolate immediately.
Companies or sites with 50 or fewer workers may be able to access community testing by visiting their local authority website and searching via ‘LFD testing’.

*An animated video is available on YouTube to explain how and why the NHS uses lateral flow tests

CBI factsheet: workplace testing guidance

For many firms, reliable workplace testing is becoming an increasingly important part of keeping workplaces open and keeping staff safe. The CBI’s NHS Test and Trace Factsheet contains more information on the different options for businesses to test their employees for coronavirus. For a general overview, the CBI has also created a factsheet on the wider workplace testing landscape.

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