UNION

Popup

Longstanding concerns on rapid workplace testing still unresolved

08 Feb 2021
Press Office

Press Office

Member requiring help?
Printable PDF

Lateral flow testing must be underpinned by confirmatory tests to address accuracy issues 

GMB, the Union for all key workers, says longstanding concerns on rapid workplace covid tests remain, despite the Government rollout announced on Sunday.

The union raised concerns on the usage of Innova lateral flow tests when they were first proposed to be introduced in schools before Christmas 2020.  

These rapid tests are not a magic bullet, and it is vital that employers understand the limitations and take steps to address them.  

Dan Shears, GMB Health, Safety & Environment Director

Evidence from PHE Porton Down and the mass testing in Liverpool strongly suggested accuracy was a concern with these tests, with large numbers of incorrect results potentially leading to infectious but asymptomatic workers remaining in the workplace and infecting colleagues as well as their own families. 

GMB has been clear that it will support screening testing only where the implementation is robust - testing is overseen by competent, qualified professionals; the limitations of the tests are understood and addressed by confirmatory testing where needed; and most importantly, all workers who are identified as Covid-positive are able to self-isolate without any loss of pay.  

Dan Shears, GMB Health, Safety & Environment Director, said: 

"These rapid tests are not a magic bullet, and it is vital that employers understand the limitations and take steps to address them.  

“Everyone wants to ensure that infectious workers keep away from the workplace, but this means getting the introduction of testing right - with confirmatory testing to avoid 'false negatives' and crucially ensuring that all protective measures to reduce transmission are implemented to the maximum."

More from GMB Union

 
Join more than 600,000 people and become a GMB member today
Join Us!