NHS Test and Trace - What that means for employers

With effect from 28th May the new NHS test and trace scheme took effect, meaning that contact tracers will actively contact people that are reported to have come in close contact with a person that has tested positive for Covid-19 - they will then be advised to self isolate for 14 days.

Is this done on an app like I have seen in the news?

Not currently, the app is being trialled and it is thought this may be ready to roll out next month but this has not yet been confirmed.

Currently, anyone displaying symptoms of Coronavirus will reqest a test and if this is positive they will be asked to provide the contact details of those they have been in close contact with and a contact tracer will then make contact to advise the person they have had close contact with that they ust self isolate.

What is considered close contact?

This is where you have been less than 2 meters apart with someone for longer than 15 minutes.

What if my employee is contacted and advised to self isolate?

They must follow the instructions and if you are aware of this and they report for work you must send them home immediately to protect the potential spread of any infection in your workforce.

Employees will be entitled to receive SSP for 14 days.

Is it likely my whole workforce would have to self isolate if they have worked with someone who has tested positive?

If you have completed a thorough risk assessment and are managing social distancing protocol at work then it would be unlikely that any of your staff would be considered to be in close contact and therefore have to self isolate. It may be possible if your staff are not following social distancing, for example on breaks, and therefore are at increased risk.

Do I have to insist that my employees download the app when this is available?

There is no information currently to suggest that it will be mandatory for all UK residents to download the app.

The app is aimed at making it easier to trace people that may be at risk of the virus from close contact and so as a business you may want to actively encourage employees to download this for their own safety and protection.

 

The full guidance published by the Government on the Test and Trace scheme can be found here

Please feel free to contact us on 0844 8797286 with any questions you may have - we are offering advice related to Coronavirus completely free of charge to any business.

 

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