Personal Experience of a COVID-19 Test

26 August 2020

On arrival, our team member was asked to remain in their vehicle and was the only person present at the surgery at the specified time. A doctor accompanied by a nurse in full PPE then arrived at the car and asked several questions including details of symptoms and if there had recently been any contact with people working in essential services such as in managed isolation facilities, at the airport or in front line health care.

An information sheet was provided explaining what should be done while waiting for the test result and what would occur depending on the result of the test.

The swab test was then completed.  The entire visit to the surgery took less than ten minutes.

The test result was negative.  They key point here is that the test result was provided by txt within 24 hours of the swab being taken. 

This is relevant to decision making around whether employees should be required to use their own sick leave in such cases or be paid special leave by their employer.  One thing is certain – where the test result is negative, there is no entitlement under the Government’s Sick Leave Support scheme. 

Employers should have a clearly documented policy on this subject.  Typically, where a test is negative employees are expected to use their own sick leave.  However, if the employer wants to prevent the employee returning to work until the result of the test is known, then the employer may have to grant special leave.  But the point is the waiting period for the test result is short, so the cost of granting special leave should not be onerous.