As we take steps towards a "new normal", many employers will be thinking through how their workers can safely return to the workplace. A growing trend in certain parts of the world is temperature checking.
But will temperature checks be the norm in UK workplaces? Six months ago it would have been written off as wildly intrusive, but the COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed our world. It's notable that temperature checking is not expressly referred to in the UK Government's recent guidance for employers (you can find this here).
Perhaps this leaves a grey area as to whether the ICO will view such checks as proportionate? It is helpful that the ICO have said it will take a pragmatic view to enforcement in these times. Some of the key questions employers will need to address when thinking through the data protection implications of temperature checks are:
1. How can it be carried out proportionately?
2. How do we engage our workforce on the checks?
3. What compliance steps do we need to take?
We've set out some of our thoughts on these questions, and wider thoughts on reintegrating workers here.
Millions of employees are starting to prepare for a gradual return to their offices as lockdown measures are eased. Employees in China who have already returned to factories and offices are working in vastly changed environments with temperature screening and health check apps.