Companies should retain access to free Covid tests for workers, unions say as program deadline looms Business News

Employers should be able to continue ordering free coronavirus tests for workers beyond the impending July 19 deadline, unions said.

Companies can currently order Lateral Flow Testing (LFD) for asymptomatic testing of employees through a government program.

These devices can either be used in the workplace or given to employees to take home to check for asymptomatic Covid-19 infection.

As long as they are already registered with the device, employers have until July 19 to order rapid tests for this purpose.

Now, a major hospitality union has said removing the program “would have a huge negative impact” on the industry.

“The industry is already suffering financially from months of restrictive business conditions, forced closures and investments to make sites safe from Covid,” said Kate Nicholls, general manager of UKHospitality. The independent.

“The additional cost of testing would have a crippling effect on many businesses, pushing hard for closure and risking further job losses.”

She added: “Instead of increasing the financial burden, the government needs to revise its testing and traceability system to enable people to break out of self-isolation through testing, a decision we have already requested. “

Amid concerns about the numbers being “pinged” by the NHS Covid app or its removal to avoid the risk, the government plans to change its sensitivity to avoid seeing millions of people being asked to self-isolate this summer.

The number of people in England who are asked to stay at home by the app has increased by tens of thousands per week in the space of a month.

It comes amid the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19, whose cases in England have increased by 34% in just one week in early July.

The store, distribution and related workers union (Usdaw) chief said test kits should remain free amid rising infections.

“Many traders are at greater risk of catching the virus and bringing it home to their families. Their job means they have no choice but to interact with hundreds of people every shift, ”said Paddy Lillis, general secretary of the union. The independent.

“Testing is an important part of our fight against the virus, which is still very much present with an increasing number of infections, so it is crucial that the test kits remain available free of charge, especially for key low-paid workers. “

The government says companies that can’t set up testing for employees can ask workers to check if they can get a rapid lateral flow test at home or at a UK test site.

The government confirmed this week that members of the public could order lateral flow tests online or pick them up from pharmacies for free asymptomatic testing until at least the end of August.

It is estimated that about a third of people with coronavirus do not have any symptoms.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Affairs said: “Anyone in England can continue to order free LFDs online until September 2021 with a policy review slated for that date.”

They added: “The details of any program expansion will be worked out in due course.”

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-07-09 16:32:27

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *