London, 27 June, 2022 – The Laboratory and Testing Industry Organisation (LTIO) has today published a new COVID protection guide for businesses that want to reassure staff that it is safe to return to the office.
With the ending of free Government testing in April, the onus to ensure the safety of employees returning to workplaces has now fallen on employers. The LTIO’s guidance is designed to help business to navigate these challenges and has been shared with all the major business organisations and trade unions.
Data from Google has revealed that footfall in London’s office hubs in May was down by an average of 31.8% on pre-pandemic levels, putting it behind Paris, Berlin, New York and Tokyo for attendance in workplaces.
LTIO research recently revealed that 66% of English adults think employers should provide free Covid tests for their employees, while 49% said they now feel less safe as free testing has ended.
The LTIO’s guidance focuses on measures that employers should think about implementing, such as regular testing, use of masks, and social distancing to keep staff safe. It also includes a comprehensive checklist for employers when selecting a testing and laboratory partner. Employers should only purchase tests from reputable testing providers that are UKAS accredited. All tests must also appear on the government’s Coronavirus Test Device Approvals (CTDA) register.
The Guidance is available to all businesses from today. To access the guidance, please click here.
Tom Watson, Chair, LTIO, said:
“The Government may have announced that the pandemic is over, but businesses still face a tough challenge to reassure all their staff that it is safe to return to the office.
“Regular testing has a vital role to play to prevent future lockdowns and to enable the country to react quickly if there is a new variant or a surge in infections. But it is for responsible employers to uphold the duty of care to their staff by providing testing for those who feel concerned about catching the virus. This guidance will provide businesses with the tools and information they need to bring their staff back to the office safely.
“We must continue to be vigilant. The threat of a new variant and an Autumn resurgence can undo all the work we have done to control the virus. The Government must be prepared to ramp up testing and offer support for businesses if cases continue to increase.”
For more information about the LTIO, please visit www.ltio.org.uk.
The Laboratory and Testing Industry Organisation (LTIO) is the trade association for the testing industry, covering testing companies and laboratories. The LTIO has an ethical purpose at its core, setting standards as a central part of its public service. We are led by a Chair and overseen by an Advisory Board, which meets to discuss the issues facing the industry, and decide the direction of the LTIO.