If, during a flu pandemic, an employee has flu symptoms, can the employer insist that he or she is tested for flu?

Employers cannot insist that their employees are tested for flu. Testing an employee without his or her 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.