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It goes without saying that as an employer, you want to get people back to work safely. But for some businesses, it has not been possible for their employees to work from home. So, whilst the debate over mandatory vaccinations continues, it’s good to know there is now another option.

We all know that having rapid testing of employees can make a big difference to productivity and of course profitability. That’s why we were delighted when the Government extended the workplace testing scheme to businesses with more than 50 employees in February 2021. Previously it was only open to employers with more than 250 employers.

What does this mean?

If you have more than 50 employees you will be able to offer a 30-minute lateral flow test to individuals without symptoms who cannot work from home. This will enable those who test negatively to return to work, whilst those who test positive will need to isolate immediately. This quick indicator will help businesses to plan with certainty and identify cases quickly before more team members are affected.

To access this scheme, employers need to sign up using the link below:


Are they accurate?

To date, lateral flow tests have been hugely successful in finding positive cases that would not otherwise be detected and their use will help to protect business and their employees going forwards. And with one in three people asymptomatic, their use will help to ensure cases are spotted and dealt with effectively. Plus, they will provide vital information to help inform the government and other medical organisations about the spread of the virus.

What else do I need to do?

Remember however that rapid tests are not the perfect solution. To be sure, they may need to be followed up with “confirmatory testing”, otherwise positive cases could be missed. It is also worth stresses that employers need to ensure their workplaces continued to provide personal protection equipment for staff, improved ventilation, enhanced cleaning and hygiene operations as well as regularly review and update their risk assessment policies and procedures.

Further help and advice

For specialist HR advice and guidance, including access to relevant risk assessment documentation, please get in contact today on caroline.robertson@actifhr.co.uk