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Lifting the Covid–19 coronavirus lockdown – what issues need to be considered when screening and testing your employees in Europe and the U.S.?

15 мая 2020

A team of Allen & Overy’s specialists across Europe and the U.S. hosted a client webinar focussing on the lifting of Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown restrictions and key issues to consider when approaching the return to work.

As governments start to ease the lockdown restrictions, many businesses are developing plans that would allow employees to return to work. A key part of these plans is the screening and diagnostic testing of workers in order to determine whether and how they should be allowed back and to inform workplace protections. Governments across Europe have differing approaches to testing and self-testing and how it is done. There remains a mixed picture on governments’ policies on the use of certain testing kits and how reliable the results are. There is also concern that equipment is entering the EU market that is either not CE-marked or is falsely labelled and what this means for EU-based suppliers and users. Certain types of diagnostic testing by employers may also trigger registration requirements under medical protection regimes.

The deployment of screening and/or diagnostic tests for employees raises a wide range of legal questions that cut across multiple regulatory areas. Business need to ensure they are assessing these issues as a whole before deciding what the appropriate strategy should be.

Panellists in key jurisdictions such as Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the U.S. discussed key issues for employers to be aware of when reintroducing their employees into the workplace. In particular, they focussed on the latest legislative developments for the testing  and screening of employees.