Zurich Insurance (Zurich) is offering a one-off benefit of COVID-19 antibody testing for all employees and their immediate family members living in the same house (over the age of 18).
The test is not linked to a return to office approach and was in place to offer peace of mind around whether employees may have been infected with COVID-19. The tests will be funded by Zurich, which will also pick up any associated taxable benefit payments which may be incurred.
A successful pilot was conducted in Switzerland and a full-scale offering is now being rolled out to the rest of the globe. The company’s employees will not be required to disclose their test result and testing remains entirely optional.
According to Zurich UK COO John Keppel, up to 95% of Zurich UK’s 4,500 employees expressed an interest in receiving the test. “We have chosen Bupa as a reputable and trusted provider. They will be administering approved antibody testing on our behalf,” he added.
“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 offered its employees a range of benefits to get them through the last few months with minimal financial disruption.
These include options to reduce pension salary sacrifice for the year and to sell holiday back to the company, the provision of additional free office equipment to ensure safe and effective working from home, and emergency loans of up to GBP750 ($955) per person available 72 hours following approval.
The company has also made a GBP13m donation to the UK insurance and long-term savings industry’s COVID-19 support fund to help people hardest hit by the crisis.