Zurich Insurance has offered free COVID-19 antibody tests to every one of its employees and members of their families over the age of 18 that live with them.
The insurers has said the move is not linked to any efforts to seek staff to return to their offices, rather to provide peace of mind should they discover they have already had the virus.
A successful pilot to offer the COVID-19 antibody (serology) test was conducted in Switzerland and a full-scale offering is now being rolled out to the rest of the globe. Under the scheme employees will not be required to disclose their test result and testing remains entirely optional.
John Keppel, COO at Zurich UK, explained: “It’s not surprising that our survey sample showed up to 95% of Zurich UK’s 4,500 employees expressed an interest in receiving this test so we intend to make them COVID secure and easily available. We have chosen Bupa as a reputable and trusted provider. They will be administering approved antibody testing on our behalf.
“In the short-term, Zurich isn’t committing to any levels of return to office occupancy, instead choosing to align to government guidelines and industry best practice. As social distancing restrictions are reduced, we will in turn, ensure our customer needs are incorporated in our office occupancy levels. At this point, we remain largely home based as a workforce.”
Zurich has also offered its employees a range of benefits to get them through the last few months with minimal financial disruption. Other benefits offered to employees during the COVID-19 crisis include:
- Car park season tickets refunds for all employees until the offices open again, completely at Zurich’s expense
- Refunded corporate gym membership payments
- Free access to the Calm app for six months
- Option to reduce pension salary sacrifice for the year
- Option to sell holiday back to the company
- The provision of additional free office equipment to ensure safe and effective working from home
- Launch of a wellbeing hub which includes Babylon, a virtual GP provider for all staff and families
- Reduced childcare vouchers to just £1
- Emergency loan of up to £750 per person available 72 hours following approval
- Zurich Community Trust has allocated £1.7m to ease the pressure on local and national charity partners selected by employees.
- The business has also made a £13 million donation to the UK insurance and long-term savings industry’s COVID-19 support fund to help people hardest hit by the crisis.
“This COVID-19 antibody test is a one-off optional benefit which is not linked to a return to office approach,” said the insurer. “It has been put in place to offer peace of mind around whether employees may have had COVID-19.”