The COVID-19 pandemic has been an ongoing concern for employers across industry lines. As new variants of the virus emerge, many employers are trying to navigate workplace laws and requirements regarding COVID-19 prevention while keeping employees safe. This article provides an overview of the benefits and challenges employers face when offering employer-paid Covid testing for COVID-19 to their workforce.
Benefits of Employer-Paid Covid Testing
There are several reasons employers may want to cover the costs of COVID-19 tests for their employees. First, doing so can allow employers to perform the testing on-site and control the length of time their employees are off work to obtain testing.
It’s also important to note that it can be costly for employees to pay for testing. As such, employees who have to cover their own testing costs could eventually seek other employment to reduce their personal expenses. With this in mind, paying for COVID-19 testing may help employers better retain their workforce.
By paying for and providing testing within the workplace, employers can create fewer hassles for their employees. This way, when the tests are completed, they are read by employers, and employees don’t need to find a telehealth proctor or go to the doctor to be tested or confirm their test results.
Challenges With Paying for Covid Testing
To start, employers with a low percentage of vaccinated employees may face issues finding enough tests all or most of these employees are completing testing regularly. In certain areas, there are shortages of COVID-19 tests.
In addition, testing costs may be high, depending on demand. If tests are hard to come by, their associated prices could increase, which could cause a financial burden for employers if they administer a large number of tests. This may pose significant strains on employers if they did not budget for testing, or worse—do not have the workforce to continue generating revenue.
Another issue employers may encounter from paying for and providing tests to employees is finding individuals to administer or witness these tests. This creates additional job tasks that have to be filled by employees spending time away from their other responsibilities. Otherwise, if employers don’t have employees available to conduct tests, they may have to create entirely new positions to oversee the completion of tests and handle recordkeeping requirements.
Ultimately, there are many factors employers must consider when it comes to paying for employee COVID-19 testing. To determine whether they should do so, employers should:
- Weigh the pros and cons of employer-paid Covid testing.
- Refer to any applicable laws to determine what their requirements are.
- Make the decision based on what will work best for their workplace.
Contact Community Services Insurance Program for additional COVID-19 guidance and workplace resources.