The Ministry of Health has introduced important changes concerning occupational health checks in the Czech Republic. The new rules took effect as of 1 January 2023 and have reduced bureaucracy for employers. Read on to learn more about the most significant changes.
Cancellation of periodic medical checks for work that carries no risk
Periodic medical checks are no longer obligatory for employees who do work that carries no risk. However, both the employee and the employer can require such medical check. In that case, the employer must accommodate the employee’s request (and issue a medical check request form for this purpose), and the employee must undergo the medical check at the employer's request. The frequency of periodic medical checks remains the same.
The Ministry of Health believes that the medical checks for mainly office-based employees are more of a formality. Doctors usually issue medical reports without carrying out a proper examination. In addition, every health-insured adult has the right to a preventive medical check every two years at their general practitioner. Thus, there is no need to duplicate such medical checks in the work environment.
This change should save hundreds of millions of crowns a year that employers could, for example, use to introduce preventive health promotion programmes. Such programmes would be able to effectively detect chronic diseases at an early stage.
New requirements for the medical check request forms
Request forms for all types of medical checks must include not only the type of work, but also specific work tasks that the employee/candidate performs. It must also state the number of working hours instead of the work regime. This change will most likely require the relevant forms used in your organisation to be updated.
Cancellation of extraordinary medical checks after maternity/parental leave
Extraordinary medical checks must be carried out among other reasons after an employee has been absent for six months. This also covers maternity and parental leave. From 1 January 2023, it is no longer necessary to carry out an extraordinary medical check after the employee returns from maternity or parental leave.
Driving a motor vehicle is no longer a professional risk
Driving a motor vehicle that is not the agreed type of work no longer represents an occupational risk. Therefore, the employer is not obliged to include driving a motor vehicle as an occupational risk in the medical check request form, and periodic medical checks are no longer extended to include an eye test. This does not apply to professional drivers whose agreed type of work is driving motor vehicles.
Entry and exit medical checks
The amendment does not affect entry and exit medical checks. However, the Ministry of Health also anticipates cancelling entry medical checks later in 2023. This change will require an amendment to the law that must go through the standard legislative process in Parliament.
These are the first changes announced by the Czech Government in its drive to cut red tape. The Ministry of Health plans to cancel entry medical checks, followed by cancelling food licences and, finally, categorisations of jobs. We can expect further changes in 2023.
For more information on these changes and employment law in the Czech Republic, contact your CMS client partner or local CMS experts.