Changes in occupational health services during state of emergency
The government has adopted an emergency measure on periodic and other health checks. As in the spring, the measure introduces the possibility to use (in specified cases) affidavits instead of initial health checks, or not to perform periodic health checks. The measure has been in effect since 19 October and shall remain so over the duration of the state of emergency.
One of the main changes brought by the emergency measure is the replacement of initial occupational health checks of new employees with affidavits. The government stipulates that an affidavit should be viewed as an assessment of the medical fitness of a person applying for employment under the Specific Health Services Act, for persons:
- whose employment relationship has originated from the date of publishing the measure until the end of the state of emergency;
- whose contracted type of work is classified in the first or second category as per the Public Health Protection Act, with exceptions; and
- who have not yet undergone an initial medical examination.
The same shall apply to persons whose employment has originated from the date of publishing the measure until the end of the state of emergency and who carry out epidemiologically significant activities; for these persons, the affidavit replaces a health card issued under the Public Health Protection Act.
The affidavit shall be valid for a maximum of 90 days from the day following the end of the state of emergency. The template of the affidavit, which forms an appendix to the emergency measure, is easily available e.g. on the website of the Ministry of Health or of the State Labour Inspection Office.
At the same time, the government has granted an exemption from periodic medical checks under the Decree on Occupational Health Services and Certain Types of Assessment Care. Periodic medical examinations do not need to be carried out during the state of emergency.
Medical assessments that expire during the state of emergency shall remain valid for 90 or 30 days after the end of the state of emergency, depending on whether the medical assessment indicated that the person is medically fit, or medically fit subject to a condition.
At the same time, the measure stipulates how occupational health service providers should proceed after the end of the state of emergency. With the measure, the government intends to make things easier for primary medical care providers. In our experience, employers will be relieved, too: as in the spring, primary medical care providers are extremely busy at the moment and can´t provide initial or periodic medical checks, which in turn complicates hiring.