Many companies have been heavily beaten and have suffered directly from the consequences of Covid-19, and now that they can gradually resume their activity, the following question arises: can employees be tested for coronavirus?
Much has been said about the need for companies to take safety and hygiene measures to protect both employees and customers, to prevent contagion, and without a doubt one of the most effective measures would be to test employees by coronavirus.
Something that many important Spanish companies such as El Corte Inglés, Seat, Inditex, Unicaja, Pamesa, El Santander, Telefónica or Bankiaare already carrying out, taking the initiative and conducting quick tests to all its employees to ensure a much safer return to activity. But is it allowed?
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Can Spanish companies test employees for coronavirus?
Depends on. The Occupational Risk Prevention Act allows employees to be tested for coronavirus, but in turn the Ministry of Health discourages it. Why?
Given the complexity of the test, the Government states that rapid coronavirus testing requires “medical prescription”,and that the test is only recommended for people at risk who have been in a hospital or residence, older persons, pregnant women or vulnerable groups.
On the other hand, the CEOE (Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations) indicates that companies can test employees by coronavirus if they consider it necessary to resume their activity with may0r security, both for customers and for the employees themselves.
In this situation, many companies are already carried out rapid tests by coronavirus to their employees,taking charge of the cost themselves, with the aim of being able to reinstate their workers in person and guarantee all safety measures.
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So is it legal to do quick coronavirus tests on a company’s employees?
Yes, it is legal to do quick tests on employees of acompany, as indicated by the Occupational Risk Prevention Act and the CEOE, but not advisable,as ensured by the Ministry of Health and the Government itself.
So, if you want to resume face-to-face activity in your company and you are rated the possibility of testing your employees, with the law in hand you will be in a willingness to carry them out. However, always going to an authorized laboratory and complying with all safety measures.
Also, if you test your employees by coronavirus, you must inform the competent health authority in your autonomous community,indicating the number of units purchased and the tests performed, as well as the number of possible infected.
In addition, your company must be very careful with the data handledafter testing, as they are data with very sensitive information that are protected by the General Data Protection Regulation. If you misuse them, you could face significant economic sanctions.
If for security, you believe that coronavirus tests are necessary to your company’s employees, you can do so, as long as you comply with all necessary protection and security measures, informing the relevant health authority and complying with current Data Protection (GDPR) regulations.