Should I tell the staff if one of the employees has tested positive for Coronavirus?
As the situation with COVID-19 develops and more people get infected, there is an issue of whether the employer should inform the rest of the staff if someone gets infected. The balance should be stroke between the employer’s duty to take care of its employees’ health and duty not to disclose medical data. There is no black and white answer to this. However, there are several ways to handle this delicate situation:
1. You can inform the rest of the staff that someone was tested positive without disclosing their name. In that case, it will also be necessary to inform employees who were in direct contact with the infected person.
2. If there is a possibility to work from home and the office gets shut down, there is no need to inform the rest of the stuff.
3. If any of your employees are key worker, then the small group of that key workers has to be informed.
There might be a situation where employees demand disclosure of the infected individual. In that case, you need to obtain consent of an individual for disclosure of such sensitive information. If the employee is unable to give consent or declines, we advise not to give out their name unless it is highly necessary to protect staff wellbeing.
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