Is attendance at a hearing test compulsory?
Employees cannot refuse to attend a hearing test provided by their employer as part of their duties under the Noise Regs, as long as the test is taking place in the employees' normal working hours and it is being provided because the employee works in a noisy area. Attendance is not optional.
This is specifically stated in the Noise Regs, covering it in the regulation itself rather than merely in guidance. This is in Regulation 9 of the Noise Regs. If someone refuses then treat it within the disciplinary procedure as any other non-compliance.
Employers making hearing test attendance optional
For employers, if they have a workplace noise level which is sufficient to trigger the audiometric testing requirements of the Noise Regs then they cannot then allow employees in high noise areas to choose to attend or not - this is very naughty. Spanky spanky.
Where there is a noise risk at work, it is not sufficient for the employer to merely make appointments available and then leave it up to the employees as to whether they attend or not.
If people are included in the audiometry programme who do not work in high noise areas then it is perfectly OK for their attendance to be optional.