Jaguar Land Rover says it has become one of the first UK businesses to introduce on-site Covid testing – with staff at its Merseyside and West Midlands manufacturing sites able to now quickly access a test.
The car manufacturing giant says it has joined forces with occupational health provider Health Partners, with the facility now available at the sites in Halewood and Solihull.
The testing will be offered to staff who have displayed symptoms but are unable to access NHS tests “in a timely manner”.
From last week, affected employees have been able to book an appointment onsite, the firm said. The test is then processed at a private laboratory and the result is sent to the employee – usually within 24 hours.
Dr Steve Iley, chief medical officer, said: “At JLR, the health and wellbeing of our employees continues to be our primary concern. We have already introduced significant measures to safeguard our team whilst they are at work and onsite testing is the next step in this approach.
“We, like the rest of the country, are seeing some isolated cases of Covid-19 at our plants. Onsite testing will allow us to safeguard our workforce and local communities, as well as keep our industry going, during these unprecedented times.”
According to JLR, the tests meet the same standards as those conducted by the NHS and have been introduced in consultation with Public Health England and the NHS.
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Initially, it has commissioned 160 tests per week for the next 16 weeks to supplement the NHS testing capacity locally in the West Midlands and Merseyside.
Employees’ health and wellbeing “continue to be at the centre of the company’s phased return to production”, the firm said.
Earlier this week, JLR said production had been restored at the two plants, with the ‘two shift’ pattern returning for workers.