Can an employer insist that an employee who has flu-like symptoms is tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Employers cannot insist that their employees are tested for flu. Testing an employee without their agreement would constitute a criminal assault and could also result in a claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

In order for an employer to require an employee to submit to a test for flu, it would need a contractual right to do so contained in either the contract of employment or a separate policy. Even where the employer has the contractual right to require such a test, the employee must be willing to be tested, although a failure to agree in these circumstances can be treated as a disciplinary issue. The level of any disciplinary sanction should be set out in the relevant policy and should be reasonable in the circumstances of the case.