User Guide for Employers of essential workers


The Coronavirus National Testing Programme

As part of the government’s 5-pillar strategy for coronavirus testing, we are testing essential workers who have coronavirus-like symptoms to see if they currently have the virus. The aim is that anyone who needs such a test will be able to have one.


We are establishing a nation-wide network of drive-through regional testing sites, which eligible essential workers are able to use. In order to make booking easier for employers and essential workers, we are launching a new employer referral portal. This portal will confirm eligibility and make it easier for essential workers to book an appointment for a coronavirus test.


Employer Referral Portal:

From today, the new employer referral portal will allow employers to upload details of essential workers who are currently self-isolating. These staff members will then receive an email or text message inviting them to book a test for the symptomatic member(s) of their household (which may be themselves).

The test will be conducted at one of the regional testing sites across the UK.

What is the employer referral portal?

The employer referral portal allows employers to refer essential workers who are self-isolating either because they or member(s) of their household have coronavirus symptoms, for testing.

It is a secure portal for employers to use to upload the full list of names and contact details of self-isolating essential workers.

If referred through this portal, essential workers will receive a text message with a unique invitation code to book a test for themselves (if symptomatic) or their symptomatic household member(s) at a regional testing centre.


Registration and Set Up

Hot to obtain a Login for the employer referral portal?

  * In order to obtain a login, employers of essential workers should email with two email addresses that will primarily be used to load essential worker contact details.

  * Once the employer's details have been verified, two login credentials will be issued for the employer referral portal.


Tip: use a shared mailbox to ensure that the individual(s) responsible for collating this information have access and are able to upload spreadsheets of self-isolating essential worker contact details to the employer referral portal.

Each employer will be given two logins.


First Time User Login

Username: Your work email address is your username

Password: Your password will be sent to your work email address from

Coronavirus Testing Helpdesk: 0300 303 2713


Process overview

Step 1: Login to the portal

Step 2: Download the template

Step 3: Populate a list of self-isolating essential workers

Step 4: Upload the populated list 

Step 5: (Optional) Download the essential workers test allocation details, to see who has booked an appointment


What communications will essential workers receive?

  •  Essential workers who have been invited for a test are notified via text message of their invitation to attend and book an appointment at a regional testing centre.
  • A link is provided for essential workers to register their personal details.
  • Once essential workers have registered their details via the online portal they will be directed to the appointment booking system to book a specific slot at the regional testing centre.


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