Is it mandatory to undergo a company medical examination?

Is it mandatory to undergo a company medical examination?


If we are in good health, or at least we think we are, we may not have any more medical examinations than those at the company. For that reason alone, it is advisable to go through them and, already, know some things about them.

For the company, yes. For the worker, it depends. The Occupational Risk Prevention Law entrusts the company with periodic monitoring of the health status of its entire workforce based on the risks inherent to its activity. This obligation applies to all employers, regardless of their size or the sector to which they belong. However, the rule also requires the consent of the worker. This implies that, in most cases, what the company is really obliged to do is to offer its employees the necessary medical check-ups to evaluate their health status. Or, rather, to know whether or not, depending on their state of health, they are fit to carry out the tasks related to their position.

But there are exceptions. Salaried workers cannot always skip recognition. «The company must always guarantee the protection of all staff and, sometimes, also that of third parties. Let’s think of an airplane pilot, for example. So if it is necessary to verify that a worker’s health status does not pose a risk to his colleagues or other people, the employee cannot refuse to undergo a medical evaluation,” says Alejandro Jover, labor lawyer partner at the Jover & Law firm. Marben.

In addition, two other assumptions must be pointed out: first, if this control is the only way to evaluate whether the working conditions may be causing us any problems and, second, if we carry out particularly dangerous activities for which there is specific legislation that impose such recognitions, such as being exposed to chemical agents or working at night. In these cases in which there is an obligation, the workers’ representatives must issue a report on the matter and, in any of them, the employee’s refusal may justify a disciplinary dismissal for disobedience. That is, without the right to receive compensation.

How often should they be done?

There are no guidelines. The Occupational Risk Prevention Law only requires that controls be periodic, but does not say anything about how often they must be carried out. However, to this requirement, the Prevention Services Regulation adds the obligation to carry them out – or to give the possibility of carrying them out – at the beginning of the employment relationship, when the worker is assigned tasks with new risks and when he or she returns after a “prolonged absence” for health reasons.

«The usual thing, and what I always recommend, is that they be carried out at least annually, but there is no fixed obligation. It is the prevention services that must establish the appropriate protocols for each case. If, for example, we are exposed to chemical agents, we still have to do them at intervals of less than a year,” Jover emphasizes.

On the other hand, the employee may request ‘motu proprio’ at any time that he undergo a medical examination if he believes that, for some health reason, he cannot perform his duties normally. It is not necessary that the cause of his discomfort be related to his working conditions because what is at issue is knowing whether, regardless of the reason, he can or cannot continue doing his job as before.

What tests are included?

It also depends on the job being performed. By law it is only established that they cannot go beyond what is strictly necessary and that they must be as non-invasive as possible. «The Ministry of Health says that they must include, at a minimum, a clinical-work history, where in addition to questions, physical examination, biological control and complementary examinations, a detailed description of the position, the time spent in it, the risks will be made. detected and the prevention measures adopted,” explains the expert

  • It’s voluntary, but not always

    The company has the obligation to offer us a medical examination, but the worker may decide not to do so, except in cases such as his or her health condition that may put the safety of others at risk.

  • Always free

    The recognition cannot have a cost for the employee and, if necessary, we even have the right to be reimbursed for the expenses that may arise from carrying it out, such as transportation.

  • Part of the work day

    The time spent on recognition is considered work time.


Here the first thing to highlight is that the recognitions must always be carried out by external prevention services that can only deliver the results to the worker, never to the company. «The company is only told whether the employee is suitable or not to carry out his task as he was doing it up to that moment. If it were not, it would be explained what jobs he can no longer do, but without detailing the causes. It would be indicated, for example, that he should not lift more than ten kilos of weight or that it is not convenient for him to remain standing for more than a certain amount of time, but nothing more,” Jover clarifies.

What if I am not suitable?

The results may say that we are not suitable to continue doing our work or that we are, but with restrictions. If so, the company has the obligation, to the extent permitted by its activity and when it is not excessively onerous, to adapt the position or task so as not to put our health at risk. If we do not do so, we can refuse to carry out tasks that are harmful to us and even go to the Labor Inspection.

In cases where it is not feasible to make any adaptation, the company may terminate the contract due to unforeseen incompetence, which entitles the employee to receive compensation of twenty days per year of work with a maximum of twelve monthly payments.


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