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Do medical check-ups have to be carried out during working hours and do they count as working time?

Revisión médica en tiempo de trabajo

Companies are obliged to guarantee the regular health surveillance of their employees, respecting their right to privacy at all times (health surveillance through medical examinations can only be carried out when the worker gives his or her consent, except in exceptional cases where it is essential due to special danger).

Whenever possible, medical check-ups should be carried out during the working day, and the time spent is at the company’s expense.  In other words, the time lost by a worker in medical examinations is counted as working time and is not recoverable.

This criterion has been repeatedly endorsed by the courts on the understanding that medical examinations must never entail a cost, burden or financial loss for workers. Consequently, if they cannot be carried out during the working day and are performed outside the working day, the time invested should be effective working time and, therefore, should be compensated with rest time of the same duration or by paying this time as overtime, for example.

Likewise, the company must bear the expenses derived from risk prevention, both those of the corresponding preventive organisation – its own or an external organisation – and, if applicable, those derived from the worker’s travel to the place where the examination is to be carried out.

In short, medical check-ups count as effective working time and must never involve a cost for the worker. For this reason, they must be carried out during the working day or duly compensated.


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