According to the prevailing Labour Act in Hungary, employee health visit is needed prior to the start of the employment. Employees are only to work in their positions if they are physically and mentally fit.
These kind of examinations are done in the framework of employee health visits and are performed by employee health professionals (physicians) and financed by the employer. The particular position determines what health condition qualities are examined; therefore various positions require different examinations.
The types of employee health visits:
- employee health visits prior to employment,
- regular employee health visits,
- out of turn employee health visits,
- closing employee health visit.
See also: Occupational health services
These examinations are needed in the following cases:
- prior to the start of the employment,
- prior to change of positions, workplace or work environment,
- in case of physical work,
- prior to start working abroad (in certain cases).
Regular employee health visits
Regular employee health visits are needed in the cases below.
When one is exposed to certain physical, chemical and biological agents at work. More frequent employee health visits are necessary upon working with arsenic materials or benzol, working underwater, or if exposed to heat-, vibration or noise pollution, etc.).
If the position exposes the employee to increased risk of danger (e.g. working at high places or under the ground, working with electricity, weapons, or in positions that involve the danger of fire or explosion, etc.).
Employee health examinations are recommended in every three years, every second year, and annually until the age of 40, between 40-50, and above 50, respectively. Besides, it is advised to perform employee health visits annually for those working with electricity.
In positions with increased mental load, employee health visits are required annually:
- where employees are responsible for other people’s lives or materials with great value,
- where decision making is required in hard and complicated situations or they have to be made based on missing or controversial information, difficult correlations,
- where complicated technologies are being used,
- when routine mental work needs to be done with short deadlines,
- working with people in controversial situations,
- emotionally stressing positions: nursery care for disabled or severely ill people,
- working in front of the screen.
Out of turn employee health visits
Beyond regular health visits, certain events or changes indicate the necessity of out of turn employee health visits:
- change in the health status (e.g. occurrence of new symptoms),
- an occupational disease occurs or severe occupational accident happens,
- a state of inability for work persists for longer than 30 days,
- a pause in employment status persists for longer than 6 months,
- significant change in the work environment.
Employees in certain positions are committed to report any changes in their health condition that might influence their work-related tasks and responsibilities. In these cases, if the employee perceives any of the symptoms listed in the so-called health care statement on themselves or on any of their closely related individuals living in the same household, out of order employee health visit is needed.
Closing employee health visit
Closing employee health visits are not mandatory in every case.
It is required and can be initiated by the employer in the following situations:
- after 10 years of work with carcinogenic agents, after 4 years of work with benzol or ionizing radiation, or at the end of the employment status,
- at the end of the employment or work environment in connection with increased risk of chronic, occupation-related diseases,
- if the employee worked in a position for at least 4 years that makes them eligible for early retirement,
- if the employee returned home after working abroad.
The process of employee health visits
Employers must provide employee health visit services for all their employees and must make sure that their employees attend the visits. The employers refer their employees with the form called “Referral to employee health visit” to the employee health physicians who are in contract with them (or employed by them) for an employee health visit. They must also provide their employees with the address of the employee health physician and the date and time of the appointment (if scheduled in advance).
Employees must present for the scheduled appointment at the employee health professional’s office. If they do not show up, they cannot be employed, and the employer with a valid work contract must be banned from work until the employee health visit is not performed, according to the prevailing legal regulations.
The following official documents are needed for the employee health visit:
- identity card and TAJ-card,
- “Referral to employee health visit” form,
- hospital reports and records of previous diseases, lab works,
- chest X-ray reports (in certain, legally determined cases),
- health care booklet (in certain, legally determined cases),
- vaccination booklet in certain positions where mandatory vaccinations are needed by professional protocols and legal regulations.
The regular process of employee health visits:
- history of employment – recording information on previous positions, employment length, potential etiological factors,
- taking the employee’s family history,
- taking their medical history,
- visual, hearing, and balance exam,
- general medical examination with additional exams,
- assessment and evaluation of lab works and exam reports,
- engrossing an employee health visit report of the employee’s competency.
The employee health professional can refer the employee to further special examinations or lab works if necessary. For further information about employee health visits, read the applicable article.
The employee health visit report
At the end of the employee health visit, the employee health professional can establish one of the following reports:
- competent, competent with restrictions,
- temporarily incompetent (for fixed term),
If the employer does not agree with the employee health report, within 15 days they can refer the employee again to a secondary employee health visit with a form called “Referral to secondary employee health visit” to their employer’s employee health professional and request a secondary evaluation. Employee health visit centres are eligible for the secondary evaluations (their list is available at NNK’s website).
The employers’ responsibilities
The employers are legally required to provide safe working conditions for the employees, including providing legally determined employee health services with the employee health visits, that can be performed at the employer’s employee health professionals or with the involvement of external service providers.
The employers’ responsibilities:
- providing employee health services,
- referring the employees to employee health visits and their making sure about the employees’ appearance at the visit,
- ensuring the possibility of providing first aid at the workplace.
If the employers miss providing any of the abovementioned responsibilities, they can be fined of 50-100.000 HUF.