The Medical Examinations Act

On January 1, 1998 the Medical Examinations Act entered into force. The Medical Examinations Act sets restrictions on certain medical examinations.

For instance, pre-employment medical examinations may only be carried out in case of any specific requirements with regard to the employee’s suitability on medical grounds, to ascertain that the employee will be able to carry out his/her duties safely. For instance, a pre-employment medical examination may be permitted when there are risks involved for the employee’s health or safety when performing his/her duty.

The regulations of the Medical Examinations Act have been drawn up in two separate decrees. In the Pre-Employment Medical Examinations Decree one can find more detailed regulations about pre-employment medical examinations.
Thus, by virtue of this decree, any advertisement for a post for which a medical examination is required shall make it clear that this is part of the selection procedure. The employer is also obliged to consult the Occupational Health Services in advance about the contents and legitimacy of the pre-employment medical examination.

Furthermore, the Pre-Employment Medical Examinations Complaints Decree contains provisions for establishing an independent committee where complaints can be lodged about pre-employment medical examinations. The Complaints Committee forms an opinion on complaints that have been submitted and subsequently notifies the complainant and the person against whom the complaint is directed. The Complaints Committee is an independent committee and an authority in the field of pre-employment medical examinations.

When is a pre-employment medical examination justified?

The act does not lay down in detail for which function a medical examination is justified. However, it does give clear indications of what is allowed, and what is not.