70% of employers would pay for employees’ Covid-19 tests

24% feel informed about new workplace health procedures

Seven in ten (70%) of employers are willing to pay for Covid-19 (Coronavirus) tests if an employee should request one, according to research by Huma.

The survey of over 5,000 UK employees and 2,000 UK businesses, published in August 2020, also found that almost half (45%) of workplaces are ready to welcome employees back into the office before the end of August, with 19% will only be ready for the first half of 2021. Employers on average are spending £674m every month to ensure a safe workplace for their employees.

Out of the businesses that are ready for the return to office work, over one-third (38%) of employees are going to a physical office, with the vast majority working at least four days there.

Additional findings revealed that just under one-quarter (24%) of employees feel fully aware of new health protocols and procedures at their workplace, while 24% of employers have prioritised communicating these changes to their employees.

Over half (54%) of employees are hesitant of returning to work, due to the worry of contracting the virus, while 57% are not confident with the measures in place to ensure their safety and wellbeing. A further one-third (29%) feel that their health and safety would be compromised in the workplace.

UK employees rank commuters (29%), fellow employees (24%) and meetings (23%) as the biggest risks to contacting Coronavirus, with the office being the lowest risk at 8%.

Additionally, 67% of employees would be willing to do a daily symptom check with their employers to ensure that they do not have the virus, while 71% would be comfortable with their employers tracing their symptoms. Almost nine-tenths (88%) are comfortable tracking their employees’ symptoms.

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Dan Vahdat, chief executive at Huma, said: “There seems to be a breakdown of communication between employers and employees, and this is leading to some unrest and possibly delaying the economic recovery. Trust building is now more critical than ever.

“Meanwhile, bosses are spending millions and feel they are doing a lot to ensure their workplace is a safe environment for staff but they are more concerned about people interaction than the actual workplace. The common ground on monitoring and tracking the health and well being of people in the workplace seems to be the solution. Employees are comfortable with this and employers are up for it but lack of resources means they are relying on workers to self-report on symptoms.”