Workplace testing can pave way to recovery says CBI
By Rob Freeman | 29th January 2021
Greater government support to help employers offer coronavirus testing can help pave the way for a safe economic restart, according to the CBI.
A survey by the business organisation found only 13 per cent of businesses are offering tests for staff - and only nine per cent of those who are not plan to start.
Lack of expertise and unclear guidance (32 per cent) and operational, logistical/regulatory complexity (31 per cent) were cited as some of the main barriers.
The survey found 14 per cent of manufacturing and services firms are testing staff while the rate is halved in the distribution sector.
The Department of Health and Social Care has announced a scheme to help firms in England with asymptomatic testing for staff unable to work from home and Matthew Fell, the CBI's chief UK policy director, said business and government must continue working together.
He said: "Rapid mass testing is an essential element of the UK's fight against Covid-19, helping those unable to work from home to operate safely, while also catching new cases.
"As we look to get the economy fully operational later this year, firms see workplace testing as another vital way of protecting the health of staff and shielding society from transmission.
"But right now, the number of tests being taken in workplaces is a fraction of where we need to get to."
He continued: "Encouraging businesses and helping them prepare to rollout workplace testing should form an essential plank of a return to normality in 2021.
"It will help create greater confidence among staff and employees, and when the time comes, support the reopening of the economy."
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