UK Barristers will get help for priority Covid testing

The Bar Council will act as a ‘quasi-employer’ to ensure barristers receive priority testing for Covid-19, as it steps up efforts to help members through the pandemic. Reports the UK Law Gazette.

The government’s current testing scheme allows employers to refer essential workers – including lawyers – for testing at regional drive-through centres. As the bar is largely self-employed, the burden of arranging testing would normally fall on individuals.

However, the representative body said it will act as a ‘quasi employer’ in order to refer members through the government portal. From today, self-employed barristers can apply for testing for themselves and symptomatic household members via the Bar Council’s website by completing a short form.

Amanda Pinto QC, chair of the Bar Council, said: ‘Being self-employed brings its own challenges; for testing, you face these challenges without the support of a traditional employer. Now, self-employed barristers won’t have to grapple with the red tape that comes with the DIY testing process.