We have become all too aware in recent weeks of just how quickly the coronavirus can spread once it gains a foothold in the community, but what about the workplace? What rights do employers have to be informed if a member of staff tests positive for Covid-19? With the country on level 3 restrictions, employees are required to work from home if they can to facilitate this. In certain cases, however, this is not possible. In others, employers still need to plan for a return of their staff to the workplace at some point.
On the face of it, you would think employees would be quick to let their employer know if they have – or suspect they have – contracted the virus. The situation is not clear-out, however.
In May, the HSE suspended its practice of informing employers when a named member of their staff had tested positive for Covid-19. The move followed criticism from Tony Holohan, the chief medical officer, who described the practice as “a breach of confidentiality”.
In response, the HSE introduced a new regime in early September whereby it will notify employers if a member of their staff tests positive, but the employee in question will not be identified.
For employers, the concern is that a delay may arise between the time an employee finds out that they have Covid-19 and when they inform their company.
Read the full article “What can businesses do to prevent a workplace outbreak of Covid-19?”.