Medical examination in the case of teleworking
A medical examination is important in the case of teleworking, as it helps to determine whether teleworking affects the health of an employee.
The employer shall arrange for an employee performing his or her duties by way of teleworking to undergo a medical examination in the same way as other employees. The employee shall be sent to a medical examination based on the results of the risk assessment and the risk factors affecting him or her. An employee shall undergo a medical examination if he or she works with display screen equipment for more than half of the working time.
The employer shall arrange an initial health examination for an employee working with display screen equipment within four months of commencing work. The employer shall bear the costs of the medical examination. The medical examination is performed during working hours and the employee is paid an average working day wage for that time.
An occupational health doctor bases the medical examination on the results of the risk assessment of the working environment and the results of the employee’s previous medical examinations. The occupational health doctor prescribes the necessary health examinations and assesses the employee’s state of health. The doctor then decides on whether the working environment and organisation of work is suitable for the employee. The occupational health doctor shall inform the employee of the results of his or her health examinations and the outcome of the medical examination.
The occupational health doctor shall issue a health examination resolution to the employer, in which he or she shall submit proposals for changes in the employee’s working environment or organisation of work, if necessary.
Can a person performing his or her duties by way of teleworking develop an occupational disease?
An occupational disease is a disease caused by a working environment risk factor or the nature of the work included in the list of occupational diseases.
A person performing his or her duties by way of teleworking can also develop an occupational disease if his or her health has been affected by hazards in the working environment.
The fact that the occupational disease did not develop at the employer’s premises but at the place where teleworking is performed does not release the employer from the obligation to ascertain the causes and circumstances of the occupational disease. If the employer is not allowed to investigate the occupational disease at the place where it developed (e.g. at home), it may be more difficult for the employee to prove that the occupational disease was caused by the working environment or the nature of the work.
If an employer enables teleworking, he or she shall do everything possible to prevent the development of occupational diseases. The employer can assess the risks as well and also provide the employee with guidance.