Occupational health appointments in France: An employer obligation
French labor laws aim to protect employees. Ensuring the employee’s health and safety is one of the employer’s obligations.
As soon as a company hires a first employee in France a membership with an occupational health care center has to be set up, regardless of whether the employer is a local or a foreign company. These accredited occupational health service centers perform the mandatory checkup appointments.
What types of occupational health appointments are mandatory in France?
There are several different mandatory appointments based on the circumstances: from the entry of a new employee, to absences such as sickness and maternity.
The French occupational health law ‘loi santé au travail’, effective since March 2022, not only amended the provisions regarding the French occupational risks assessment document DUERP but also imposes new medical visits, such as a mid-career appointment.
Occupational health appointment in France for new employees
All employees benefit from an information and prevention visit (‘visite d’information et de prévention’ – short VIP). It has to be organized within the first three months from hiring (in some cases before hiring e.g. for minors). Its main purpose is to identify the state of health of the employee, to inform about workplace related risks, and to make aware of preventive measures.
Periodic occupational health appointment in France
The information and prevention visit VIP has to be renewed within a maximum period of 5 years from the first visit.
Mid-career and End-of-career occupational health appointment
The French occupational health law ‘loi santé au travail’ created a new visit: a mid-career visit that generally has to be organized during the calendar year of the employee’s 45th birthday.
It aims to assess the adequacy between the workstation and the state of health of the employee.
Employees occupying high-risk positions can benefit from an end-of-career medical examination before their retirement.
Follow up appointments : Absences
Based on the type of absence and duration of an absence the employer might be required to organize a recovery visit.
It is obligatory to organize a recovery visit in the following cases:
– Return from a maternity leave;
– Recovery from an occupational sickness;
– Return from an absence of a duration of at least 30 days following a work accident;
– Return from an absence of at least 60 days due to ‘normal’ sickness, not related to the occupation or a work accident.
Created by the French occupational health law ‘loi santé au travail’, a liaison meeting may be organized for any absences of more than 30 days. Participants are the employer and employee, as well as the occupational health service. It is a voluntary meeting that may be initiated by the employee or the employer.
Signing up with an occupational health center
There are hundreds of occupational health services in France. Which service is competent for your company depends on the location and in some cases on the business activity. For companies with employees working remotely, it is your employee’s location that determines the competent occupational health service.
All costs related to the occupational health obligations are borne by the employer. This includes not only the annual fees of the occupational health center. The time necessary for the appointment is working time and as such has to be paid by the employer.
Signing up with an occupational health center is part of our payroll services in France. My Payroll Pro France advises and assists on all questions related to occupational health appointments in France.