Yes, it is an official document from the laboratory. Initial results to allow for speed of processing are sent via text or email for negative results and a telephone consultation for positive results.
The laboratory that we use is located within the United Kingdom and is on the list of approved suppliers to the NHS and PHE.
If you test positive for COVID-19, we are obliged to inform Public Health England. Our clinic will offer you guidance should you test positive for COVID-19. We also are happy to discuss negative results as these should be reviewed within the clinical context, particularly when there is a risk of false negatives.
Yes, the employee will be informed of the results first, following this they will be advised that management will be informed of the test results. If for some reason the employee is not contactable within 24 hours of attempting to contact them then the test results will be forwarded to management. the employee must give 'explicit consent' to the processing of those personal data for one or more specified purposes will be obtained prior to the test being undertaken.
The ICO has published a document setting out our regulatory approach during the coronavirus pandemic.
Yes. If you need to collect specific health data about employees, you need to ensure the use of the data is actually necessary and relevant for your stated purpose. You should also ensure that the data processing is secure, and consider any duty of confidentiality owed to employees.
As an employer, you must also ensure that such lists do not result in any unfair or harmful treatment of employees. For example, this could be due to inaccurate information being recorded, or a failure to acknowledge an individual’s health status changing over time. It would also not be fair to use, or retain, information you have collected about the number of staff who have reported symptoms of COVID-19 for purposes they would not reasonably expect.
You should keep staff informed about potential or confirmed COVID-19 cases among their colleagues. However, you should avoid naming individuals if possible, and you should not provide more information than is necessary.
As an employer, it’s your duty to ensure the health and safety of all your employees. Data protection doesn’t prevent you doing this, and should not be viewed as a barrier to sharing data with authorities for public health purposes, or the police where necessary and proportionate. There are many routes available to share data, using some of the conditions and exemptions in the DPA 2018. You also need to take into account the risks to the wider public which may be caused by failing to share information, and take a proportionate and sensible approach.