Serological tests: the Privacy Guarantor intervenes


The journal Nature Medicine has published a survey that reveals how all those who contract the Covid-19 virus develop immunoglobulins that can protect against a second infection. An important discovery, which led to enhance the serological tests aimed at detecting the presence of antibodies in the population. However, the race for serological screening remains a topic of great discussion. In particular, in the workplace, we wondered if the employer could impose its performance on employees. On this point, the Privacy Guarantor had to intervene.

Serological tests. As expressed by the Guarantor

The Guarantor argued that the employer cannot directly make serological tests to employees. This is clarified following the protocol agreement signed on 14.03.2020 between the Government, then integrated on 24.04.2020. In this agreement, the Guarantor provided guidelines to ensure the correct processing of employees’ personal data by both private companies and public administration. As part of the workplace safety and prevention system, the Guarantor specified that the employer can only request to perform the serological test. However, it cannot force employees to submit to it.

This, in any case, can only be ordered by the occupational physician, according to the rules relating to the Covid-19 emergency. All with the aim of preventing the spread and contagion of the pathology. In any case, the ongoing health emergency cannot justify an exception to the privacy discipline. Consequently, the prohibition to inform the employer about the specific pathologies that have occurred to the worker remains with the competent doctor. More generally, the principles of protection of personal data, provided by the Privacy Code, must be respected. However, he may, as part of his health guarantee function, suggest the adoption of diagnostic means, in order to contain the spread of the virus.

In addition, it may also give the employer indications regarding the safeguarding of the worker at the workplace, due to his particular conditions. In conclusion, at this time when, for reasons of emergency, suggest from many sides, the violation of the right to privacy, the balancing function of the guarantor is more necessary than ever.

Read also: Rental problem in Covid-19 times. You don’t pay

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