Important guidance for employers and the self-employed in Wales on Test, Trace, Protect responsibilities

Important guidance has been issued for all employers and the self-employed in Wales on their responsibilities to help deliver the Test, Trace, Protect strategy.

Test Trace Protect which was launched in Wales on Monday, June 1, aims to slow the spread of Covid-19, protecting the health care system and saving lives.

The guidance from Welsh Government contains information on:

  • how employees will be asked to notify their employer if they are asked to self-isolate as part of the contact tracing process
  • what support is available if there’s an outbreak of Covid-19 in a workplace
  • the minimum and maximum time an employee can be told to self-isolate for
  • what support employers should provide to their employees if they are asked to self-isolate, including details on sick pay and employment support allowance

Further information is provided on:

  • when employees should order a coronavirus test and how they can access one
  • how employees will be asked to notify their employer if they test positive for coronavirus
  • what contact tracing involves and the definition of a contact
  • how long people will be advised to self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus

For the self-employed, the advice from Welsh Government is to continue to work from home if possible. If this is not possible, guidance on Keeping Wales Safe at Work should be implemented for the work environment.

Test Trace Protect is being delivered through the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service which includes local health boards, Public Health Wales, local authorities and the NHS Wales Informatics Service.

In our region this includes Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, Bridgend County Borough Council, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council.

The system works by:

  • testing those people who have coronavirus symptoms, asking them to isolate from wider family, friends, co-workers and their community while taking a test and waiting for a result
  • tracing those individuals who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus, requiring them to take precautions and self-isolate (for 14 days)
  • providing advice and guidance, particularly where the person who has tested positive or their contacts are vulnerable or at greater risk
  • ensuring that if the individual tests negative and the symptoms are not due to coronavirus, individuals can get back to work and their normal routines as soon as possible

The Leader, Cllr Huw David, said: “The Test Trace Protect service is one of the biggest public health interventions in a generation – it has been created with the sole purpose to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and we urge all businesses to fully engage with the process.

“All businesses in the region have a responsibility to ensure they are up to date with the latest guidance and their employees are informed of the relevant processes around testing and contact tracing.

“To help keep employees and customers safe, companies also need to ensure they are taking all reasonable measures to adhere to the social distancing law in the workplace.

“This is a very challenging and difficult time, we need the help of all our residents and businesses if we are to break the transmission of coronavirus, enabling people to start getting on with their lives, seeing their loved ones, and rebuilding their livelihoods.”

Important links for employers:

For Welsh Government guidance for employers on Test Trace Protect visit here

Find out more information about your responsibilities as an employer here

To find out more about contact tracing visit the local health board’s frequently asked questions here or to visit the Welsh Government version visit here

If your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, you may be eligible for a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (on GOV.UK).