The Scottish Government has published guidance to prioritise testing to enable key employees to return to work. This programme runs alongside the existing programme of testing in the NHS for key workers in Health and Social Care and Children and Families teams.

All employees are able to make a self-referral for testing if they have symptoms – testing is most effective within the first 3 days of symptom onset, but can be undertaken up to 5 days'

Keyworkers and their symptomatic household members can be referred for testing via the Scottish Government employer portal.

While the majority of employees are currently arranging their own test via the self-referral route, if an employee is regarded as a key worker, they can be referred via the employer portal which is administered by HR.

Recording

Services must keep MyView updated with correct information.

Managers should also ensure that contact details for employees are up to date in MyView, otherwise this could delay access to testing, where this is necessary.

Process

  • Managers (or the employee) should email the HR helpdesk requesting referral for testing. The email subject should read COVID Test Request and the employee's first initial, surname and post title should be referred to in the body of the email.
  • The request will be picked up by a member of the HR Team and where necessary HR will contact the manager to discuss the request.
  • Where, following discussion with the manager, the employee is deemed to hold a key post, a member of the HR team will contact the employee to seek further information. Based on symptom dates, they may be put forward for testing.
  • This HR process will be carried out Monday to Friday. Employees are able to self-refer via the NHS Inform website at any time.
  • Contact with the employee will be made via information held in MyView. If this is out of date, HR may contact managers for up to date contact details (e.g. telephone numbers).
  • Referrals will be progressed for appropriate keyworkers, and where they are symptomatic for less than five days. Where employees in key posts are self-isolating due to a family member being symptomatic, the family member can be tested via the employer portal process outlined
  • Managers will be advised where an employee is referred for testing.
  • A referral will not guarantee a test will be offered/completed.
  • Employees will be asked to make their own way to the testing centres.
  • Home testing kits may be available for those who are unable to travel.

Post testing

  • Employees will be encouraged to share results with their manager at the earliest opportunity.
  • Managers should maintain contact with employees to get an update about results so consideration can be given to their ability to return to work. Advice is available from the service HR contact.
  • Where individuals are not put forward for testing or testing has not been undertaken, managers should maintain contact with employees for an update on their status at the end of the self-isolation period to support a return to work.
  • A significant number of employees may self-refer and this information will not therefore be available to HR. Managers, therefore, should maintain contact with the employee to establish the outcome, updating MyView accordingly and supporting the employee back to work, where appropriate.
  • Managers should report incidents where employees become unwell with COVID symptoms in a Council workplace or if they have tested positive and have been at work during their infectious period on the SHE Assure system
  • Where a positive result is identified, the employees’ line manager must conduct a COVID Incident investigation within SHE, in order to collect relevant information to assist the NHS and also to determine if work related transmission of COVID-19 has occurred. MyView should also be updated.
  • Where an employee has tested positive but has not been within the workplace during their infected period (for example, home working) this does not need to be reported on SHE Assure and should be reported using MyView.

Any queries regarding the use of SHE Assure should be directed to:

Asymptomatic tests for school-based staff

The Scottish Government has recently announced that staff based in schools can ask their employer to refer them for a test, even if they do not have symptoms.

Any such requests should be routed through the HR Helpdesk (hrhelpdesk@falkirk.gov.uk) highlighting that the employee is asymptomatic and providing a contact mobile telephone number. On receipt of this information, a referral will be made through the employer portal. The employee will then directly receive a text inviting them to book an appointment or offering a home self-testing kit.

Alternatively, the employee can make arrangements for a test on a self-referral basis by completing the Get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus form.

Once clicking on "Get Started" they should respond to the questions as follows:

  • Is the person who needs a test an essential worker – "yes"
  • Does the person who needs the test have Coronavirus symptoms – "no"
  • Has the person been asked to get a follow up test – "no"
  • Is the person who needs the test part of a trial or a government pilot project – "no"
  • Why are you asking for a test – select "My local Council or Health Protection Team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms".

Thereafter, enter your requested personal details and submit your referral.