Workplace Covid Testing & TransparencyYou should ensure employees know absolutely everything about your testing or collection of their test results. As a minimum you should be clearly informing them of why you’re collecting the testing information, what decisions you’ll be making with the results, what you’ll be using it for, how long you’ll be retaining it, how you’ll keep it safe and who you’ll be sharing it with. You’re required to have a policy detailing any processing of special category data across the organisation.
AccuracyYou have a requirement to keep personal data up to date so it would be wise to record the dates of any tests.
Is Workplace Covid Testing Necessary?Start by addressing key questions before embarking on Covid-19 testing:
- What is your purpose in requiring the testing?
- Do you really need the testing?
- Will the testing actually provide a safe environment?
- Could you achieve your purpose without requiring testing, such as using other reasonable methods like social distancing, mask wearing and working from home?
Lawful Basis & Condition for ProcessingTo process any personal data you need a lawful basis. To process special category data, you need to rely on an additional condition. Therefore to implement testing or collect an employee’s test results you’ll need to decide and have documented what lawful basis and additional condition you’re relying on. Lawful Basis - You’re likely to use “public task” (for public authorities) or “legitimate interests” (private and public organisations). The latter probably being more common. You should ideally put together a legitimate interest’s assessment when relying on this lawful basis for the processing. Additional Condition – There are 2 conditions you’re likely to rely on:
- The employment condition - this may apply to organisations that are testing under their employer health and safety conditions.
- The public health condition – this includes employers who are helping to stop the spread of the virus by running their own testing programmes and reporting results to relevant public health contact tracing authorities.