The Act on Facilitating Business Activity of 7 November 2014 (Journal of Laws Dz. U. 2014 item 1662), published on 27 November 2014, is designed to simplify business operations in Poland and relax the related requirements and procedures. The act extends to such areas as employment law, modifying the rules for medical screening examinations of staff.
Art. 229 of the Labour Code currently requires a preliminary medical examination, before beginning work, of persons newly hired, youth employees transferred to another position, and other employees transferred to a new position that involves health risks or difficult conditions.
There is currently only one exception to the obligation to undergo a preliminary medical examination. Labour Code Art. 229 §1 provides that a person returning to work with the same employer at the same position (or another position with the same working conditions) on the basis of a new employment contract concluded within 30 days after termination or expiration of the preceding employment contract with the same employer is not required to undergo another preliminary medical examination.
Otherwise, another employer hiring a person who already holds a medical certificate finding that there were no contraindications to the person working at a given position with the previous employer must nonetheless refer the employee for a medical examination.
The amending act provides for a new exception of convenience to both employers and employees. There will be an exemption from the requirement for a medical screening exam also for persons hired by a new employer within 30 days after termination or expiration of a prior employment relationship, if they present to the new employer an up-to-date medical certificate confirming that there are no contraindications to working under the conditions described in the referral for a medical examination, and the new employer confirms that the conditions correspond to the working conditions at the new position.
This exception will not apply to persons hired to perform particularly hazardous work. In that case the employee will have to undergo a preliminary examination even if he or she holds a valid medical certificate issued in connection with the previous employment.
The entry into force of the new rules will require amendments to the executive regulations, i.e. the Regulation of the Minister of Health and Social Welfare of 30 May 1996 on Employee Medical Examinations, Preventive Employee Healthcare and Medical Certificates Issued for Purposes Provided for in the Labour Code (Journal of Laws Dz. U. 1996 No. 69 item 332), now in force, issued pursuant to Labour Code Art. 229 §8. It may be expected that regulations will be introduced enabling an employee to seek issuance from his or her personnel file of an original or copy of the existing medical certificate, so that it can be provided to the new employer.
The amendments to the Labour Code enter into force on 1 April 2015. The interim provisions of the amending act state that the existing regulations will continue to apply to medical certificates confirming the lack of contraindications to work and referrals for medical examinations issued prior to 1 April 2015, as well as medical examinations begun prior to that date.