Widespread testing for COVID-19 is being suggested as an effective tool in preventing the spread of the virus. UNISON is calling for further testing of the population as part of a safe return to work. This would mean the routine testing of workers without any symptoms to ensure that those who feel fine but are carrying the virus do not spread it. Whilst this may play a part in controlling the outbreak and a return to more normal working, a widespread testing regime does raise a number of issues members and stewards should be aware of.
Branches may encounter both members who refuse a test and members who don’t want to work with other staff/clients/pupils who refuse tests. There will also be a range of responses from employers to testing and to any member of staff who refuses a test. Some employers will be happy redeploy staff to another area and agree to maintain and wages etc others may not be so flexible. The E-brief provides a framework for branches to negotiate any testing regime with employers. Detailed support is available from your Regional Organiser.