Even with the mandating of the COVID vaccination for many organisations, employers still need to follow a process before deciding to terminate employment. An employer’s good faith obligations remain.
‘My employee is showing symptoms of COVID and I have asked them to go and have a test to protect the rest of my staff and myself. They are refusing! What can I do?”
Under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, the Government, (The Minister of Health and Director-General of Health) can order a test. As an employer, you can pass that order on and so comply with Government requirements, but you can’t enforce it.
You also have obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to keep your other employees safe. Therefore, it’s entirely reasonable for you to ask your employee to get tested, particularly if they are in a job that puts them in close contact with others.
If the employee does eventually agree to take a test, who pays?
The test itself is free, but any associated cost such as travel, time off work to take the test, would be covered by you, the employer.
If you need advice, or need help pulling together a policy or guidelines around COVID testing, please give us a call.