Occupational health examination for employees

Are you clear on how often and in what situations you should send your employees for a check-up? Do you know who to send them to, what documents to provide them with, and what the risks are if you don’t send your employees for a check-up?

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What are occupational health services?

This rather cryptic name is used in the legislation to refer to health services related to the assessment of the health status of employees. Previously, you might have come across the term occupational preventive care. This includes, for example, examinations of employees, but also health assessments of the impact of work activities and the working environment, advice on occupational health and protection against accidents at work, and first aid training.

According to the Labour Code, every employer is obliged to ensure the occupational health and safety of its employees and therefore needs to provide them with occupational health services. In particular, an employer must not allow an employee to perform prohibited work or work whose difficulty is not commensurate with the employee’s abilities and medical capacity. This is where the importance of occupational health examinations becomes apparent. Simply put, the examinations serve to ensure that each employee does the work for which he or she is medically fit.

What are the types of occupational health examinations?

There are the following types of examinations:

  • initial, periodic and emergency examinations, which are carried out to assess fitness for work
  • exit examination; and
  • a medical examination after the end of the hazardous work (the so-called ‘follow-up examination‘)

The employee must always be sent by the employer for the examination with a corresponding request, which should in particular indicate what the job is, what the risk factors are, what type of examination is required and the reason for the examination.

When to make an initial inspection?

You must always send your potential employee for an entrance examination before the start of the employment relationship. The screening should be done before the employee actually starts working for you, ideally before the employment contract is signed. It is only at this examination that it is established whether the applicant is medically fit for work. The initial examination is also mandatory if there is a change of job if there are different risks involved. The situation is a little more complicated when it comes to employees working under an agreement (employment or performance agreement). According to the law, the examination is only compulsory for hazardous work. It will therefore depend on how the job is categorised (each employer is obliged to classify individual jobs into one of the four risk categories under the Public Health Protection Act).

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Tip: Have you had an accident at work? What are you entitled to, what is pain and suffering and how is it determined? Is the procedure different if you caused the injury in part by your own breach of duty? And why is your employer allowed to give you notice in connection with an accident at work? We will answer all this in our next article.

Who will pay for the entrance examination?

The jobseeker is usually required to pay for the entrance examination. If you then enter into an employment relationship with the applicant , you are obliged to reimburse the costs. However, you can also agree with the applicant that you will always reimburse them for the costs, even if they are not employed. If the jobseeker has to work at night, the prospective employer will always pay the cost of the initial examination. The employer may include the payment for the examination in the costs.

How often do I go for a periodic check-up?

The answer to this question depends on the age of the employee and, more importantly, the risk category of the job. In the first category, it is carried out every six years or every four years if the employee is over 50 years of age. For employees in category two, it shall be carried out every four years or every two years for an employee over 50 years of age. In the second and third risk categories it shall be carried out every two years and in the fourth category once every one year.

Exceptional examination

You should send an employee for an emergency examination if you have doubts about whether they are still fit for work or if the level of risk has increased.

Exit examination

This examination is carried out on leaving employment. The legislation sets out exactly when you need to send an employee for this examination. These are mainly situations where the employee may be suffering from an occupational disease and it is appropriate to determine whether or how his health has deteriorated.

What are the risks if I do not send the employee for the examination?

If you do not send an employee for a compulsory medical examination on time, you may be guilty of an offence and face a fine of up to CZK 2 million. If the initial examination is not carried out, there is even a risk that the employment contract may not be valid.

Still not sure what’s up with the occupational health checks? Do you know when, who and where to send? Contact us, we will be happy to advise you.

Tip: The type of work you do is defined in your employment contract. For what reasons can your employer reassign you to another position? Are there situations where they must do so? And what would happen if you did not agree to the transfer? We have addressed this in our separate article.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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