Covid-19 Screening and SMEs
Thomson Screening co-founder Marta Kalas comments on plans by the UK government to expand Covid-19 testing to staff who cannot work from home during lockdown.
A new announcement from the government that smaller businesses, not just larger ones, will have access to government funded Lateral Flow testing is a great development in workplace safety as it means many more businesses, from a much wider range of sectors, are now able to take part.
There is, of course, some concern from small business owners about how much extra administration this new test will require: employers will need to ensure that testing is fair, systematic and in compliance with data privacy legislation.
So, will small businesses regard this as an extra overhead and struggle to comply or will they embrace this opportunity to keep their employees safe?
The answer depends on how simple and easy it is to manage the process. School and nursing homes have already found that they have had to divert resources simply to keep track of all the testing, as well as uploading results to the NHS Track & Trace.
Fortunately, the government has already published a list of private providers of COVID-19 testing as part of its effort to help employers and individuals set up their own Covid-19 testing programmes.
Additionally, through Innovate UK, it has funded development of Thomson Screening's 'Workscreen COVID Manager' which supports testing and bulk uploading of test data to enable managers of SMEs to make informed decisions about workforce safety.