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Negative medical report – what next? Medicine and health

Negative medical report - what next?  Medicine and health

A situation in which an employee receives a negative result of a medical certificate (i.e. unable to work in a particular job) is difficult for both the employee and the employer. Without a valid medical certificate stating that there are no contraindications to working in a particular job, the employer may not allow the employee to perform the tasks.

This causes many doubts about further actions. What path to follow? One option is to use the legal appeal procedure.

Submitting an appeal allows for a review of the decision by the appealing authorities. Appeals often relate to inability to work after referral for preventive examinations. In any case in which the employee or employer referring to the tests does not agree with the content of the decision issued, they may file an appeal in writing within seven days of receiving the decision. – Says Teresa Domaisca, Director of the Insurance Bureau at TU Zdrowie.

What should be on the appeal?

The appeal must contain clear justification and information whether we disagree with the entire content of the decision or only part of it. The appeal must be accompanied by a decision and a second referral for a medical examination issued by the employer. We send the prepared appeal to the examining physician and mail it or send it in person at the medical facility where we were examined. The appeal must be made within seven days of receipt of the judgment. At the same time, one must remember the confirmation of filing the appeal in order to be able to prove that it was received within the time limit set by the legislator – Says Hanna Burke, Occupational Medicine Specialist at Zdroj University.

The appeal with all attachments shall be submitted by the physician who issued it. The judge completes the appeal request with copies of the laboratory and diagnostic tests and medical consultations, if they were conducted during the preventive examination, and submits them to one of the appeal bodies, which are:

  • Voivodship Medical Centers (WOMP) competent at the workplace or seat of the organizational unit in which the employee works;
  • Research institutes in the field of occupational medicine or the University Center of Naval and Tropical Medicine in Gdynia, if the appeal relates to a medical certificate issued by a doctor working in a district occupational medicine center;
  • Railway Center Scientific Medicine, if the appeal concerns a medical certificate issued by Kolejowy Zakład Medycyny Pracy;
  • Medical entities established and appointed by the Minister of National Defense.
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The appeal is submitted to the higher unit that exercises control over the place of taking the tests, i.e. if the tests are carried out in the basic unit of the Occupational Medicine Service, the appeal will be submitted to the WOMP. If the first examination is carried out at WOMP, the application will be directed to research institutes in the field of occupational medicine or the University Center for Naval and Tropical Medicine in Gdynia, through the district center for occupational medicine.

The physician by whom the appeal is submitted must, within seven days from the date of receipt of the appeal, submit it together with the documents that form the basis of the medical certificate issued to the competent authority. Examinations under the appeal procedure shall be conducted by the competent entity within fourteen days from the date of receipt of the appeal.

The decision under the appeal procedure is final

It is the employee’s responsibility to undergo a second examination. Please note that the medical certificate appeal is final. This means that neither the employee nor the employer will be able to appeal to another authority with the same ruling. The costs of examination under the appeal procedure are not borne by the employer, since the operation of occupational medical centers in the district is financed from the state budget.

The filing of the grievance does not entail the possibility of the employee being considered fit for work. It will be possible to make a decision on the ability to work after the completion of the appeal procedure and receipt of the decision in this case. During the appeal review period, both parties remain “pending” until a final decision is made. During this time, the employee must remain at his disposal to start work. In the employee’s records, his absence must be marked as excused without the right to sickness and pay benefits.

The provisions of the Labor Law do not obligate the employer to employ the worker if the latter has received a negative decision issued by the occupational medicine doctor. The employer may, if possible, suggest to the employee a different job. In such a case, the employer must submit the new terms in writing and inform the employee of the reason for the change. If it is not possible to occupy another position, the employer has the right to terminate the employment relationship with the employee. If the judgment is upheld, the employer will be able to terminate the contract with the employee by giving notice as a reason for losing his ability to perform the work or may make an offer by agreement between the parties in the matter- Hanna Borek adds.

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Absence of the examining doctor

Because of the holiday season, a good question is when the examining doctor is on vacation and doesn’t return until seven days after the decision. How do you proceed to meet deadlines? In this case, it is recommended to file a grievance with the Primary Occupational Medicine Unit in which the decision was issued. There are no legal contraindications for the head of the department of basic occupational medicine to submit an appeal with documents for an employee’s medical examination to WOMP in the event of a prolonged absence from work. The absence of a doctor for any reason may not stop the appeal proceedings, as it would harm the candidate/employee and violate his right to benefit from the appeal institution.

We also recommend the following:

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