During the first confinement, the public authorities allowed occupational physicians to postpone information and prevention visits (VIP) as well as aptitude exams to which employees are subjected. Thus, the visits and examinations which were to take place between March 12 and August 31, 2020 could be postponed until the end of 2020. And since the health situation continues, new rules allowing these visits and examinations to be postponed are established.
Note: these rules concern employees on permanent contracts, fixed-term contracts or temporary employment contracts falling under the general social security system or the agricultural system.
The initial VIPs (made at the time of hiring) and periodicals can be carried over. Except the initial VIPs to which employees benefiting from appropriate medical monitoring are subject, namely disabled workers, young people under 18, night workers, etc.
With regard to employees assigned to a position at risk and who are therefore subject to reinforced medical monitoring, only medical examinations of suitability for renewal (and, where applicable, intermediate visits) may be deferred. In other words, the initial aptitude exams must take place within the allotted time, ie before taking up the post.
Exception: the renewal aptitude examinations of workers exposed to ionizing rays classified in category A cannot be postponed.
Finally, unlike the measures put in place during the first confinement, the pre-resumption (sick leave of more than 3 months) and recovery visits (in the event of maternity leave, for example) cannot be postponed. However, they can be performed by a nurse.
One year only!
The occupational physician has the option of postponing visits and examinations to be carried out before April 17, 2021, including those which have already been postponed and which could not be carried out before December 4, 2020. But within the limit of ‘one year only! And be careful, because this period starts from the date of the initial expiry of the visit or medical examination.
Examples: a visit which must take place no later than March 15, 2021, and which has not already been postponed, can be postponed until March 15, 2022. A visit, which should be held no later than June 15, 2020 and which has already been postponed, can be postponed no later than June 15, 2021.
Who decides ?
It is the occupational physician who decides whether or not to postpone employee visits and examinations. It can thus maintain them if it considers them essential with regard to the information available to it on the state of health of employees, the risks associated with their workstation or their working conditions.
When a visit or examination is postponed, the occupational physician informs the employer and the worker concerned, indicating the date on which it is scheduled. If the doctor does not have the employee’s contact details, it is up to the employer to forward this information to him.
Decree n ° 2021-56 of 22 January 2021, JO of 24