For the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, the rules for conducting medical examinations of employees are changing. The existing time limits are suspended and certificates issued by a doctor other than the occupational medicine doctor are also allowed.
Staff medical examinations – what changes for a pandemic?
At the beginning of April 2020, the Ministry of Health and the National Labour Inspectorate issued new guidelines for employers directing employees to preliminary, periodic and control medical examinations. These issues have been regulated by the Act on the so-called anti-crisis shield, in force since 1 April. Adopted changes in the scope of medical examinations of employees include:
- suspension, for the duration of a state of epidemic or state of epidemic hazard, of the execution of periodic examinations, psychological examinations and periodic examinations of the employees in the conditions of exposure to carcinogenic substances and agents or fibrous dusts (applies to employees who are sent for periodic and psychological examinations in accordance with the Labour Code and the Act on Road Transport). After the end of a state of epidemic or epidemic hazard, the employer and the employee are obliged to perform postponed examinations within a period not exceeding 60 days from the date of cancellation of the state;
- the obligation to conduct preliminary and control examinations is still in force, the rules for their execution are changing:
- during a state of epidemic or epidemic hazard, preliminary and control examination certificates issued by a doctor other than the occupational medicine doctor are permitted (if occupational medicine service is not available), however, within 30 days of the cancellation of the state, the certificate shall cease to be valid and the employer must send the employee for examinations again to the facility with which the company has a contract for preventive health care services,
- certificates issued by an occupational medicine doctor or other doctor remotely, i.e. through ICT or communication systems, are permitted.
- all preliminary, periodic and control medical certificates whose validity expires after 7 March 2020 shall be valid for the duration of a state of epidemic or epidemic hazard and for 60 days from the date of cancellation of the state,
- the principle of not allowing an employee without a valid preliminary examination is maintained in force.
ATTENTION! All employee medical certificates issued during a state of epidemic or epidemic hazard, regardless of the form of their issue and the specialty of the adjudicating doctor, should be included in the employee’s personal file.
Learn more: Anti-crisis shield – ZUS reliefs and exemptions for companies from 1 April