Getting to know the tangle of legal laws and paragraphs is sometimes a real challenge for many entrepreneurs. However, as the law states that lack of knowledge of the laws does not justify anyone, every entrepreneur is obliged to become acquainted with the legal obligations relating to his business.
This article is mainly devoted to business owners and those who are considering this type of business. One of the legal obligations that the owners of some establishments have to fulfil is to draw up business operating rules. In this article, you will learn what the business operating rules are, which operations must have them, and what penalties you may face if you do not comply with this statutory obligation.
What is “business operating rules”?
The law imposes on some entrepreneurs in certain sectors the obligation to develop the so-called Business Operating Rules. This obligation follows from Act no. 355/2007 on the protection, promotion and development of public health. Entrepreneurs will find the definition of operating rules in this Act in § 2 par. 1 letter zc) and says the following:
“The business operating rules are a set of measures for the protection of the employee’s health and the protection of public health in the establishment.”
However, the obligation to have developed and approved operating rules is imposed by law only on certain business owners and only for certain types of operations. The business operating rules proposed by the business are approved by the relevant regional public health authority in the place where the specific operation is located. A copy of the approved operating rules must be kept by the business in his/her operation premises and ready for inspection by a public health authority.
Which services must have operating rules?
The elaborated and approved business operating rules must be available for inspection at the business premises such as accommodation facilities, common catering facilities, physical education facilities and health care providers, medical staff, facilities for children and young people in which education and training are carried out, as well as various human care facilities. Which includes, for example, hairdressers, barbershops, beauty services, manicures, pedicures, solariums, massage salons and tattoo studios.
However, the obligation to draw up business operating rules also follows from the law for other entrepreneurs who employ people. Every employer is obliged to provide health surveillance and health risk assessment for its employees. If the results of such an assessment show a certain burden for employees (for example in relation to temperature/cold or another burden under the relevant legal provisions), employers are also obliged to draw up operating rules and submit them to the relevant regional health authority for approval.
What is the risk if you do not fulfil the obligation to draw up and approve the business operating rules?
Entrepreneurs face various fines for non-compliance with the obligation to draw up operating rules and submit them to the regional health office for approval. In cases stipulated by law, they are therefore obliged to draw up operating rules and submit them for approval to the relevant regional health authority. The same obligation applies to any change in the operating rules, which must also always be submitted for approval to the relevant regional health authority.
Failure to fulfil the obligation to draw up business operating rules and translate them for approval to the relevant regional health office qualifies the law as the so-called administrative offense. Depending on the specific case, it imposes fines in the range of 150 to 20,000 euros. In determining the amount of the fine, it shall take into account the gravity, manner, time, duration and consequences of the infringement. In the event of repeated infringement, it may increase the fine imposed up to twice.
Finally, it should be added that the law stipulates different requirements for the operating rules for each operation. For example, if you run a canteen that is a mass caterer, your operating rules will include information other than the hairdresser’s operating rules, which are classified as human body care facilities. However, current and future operators of operators must be informed that such an obligation arises from the law and know which law to look for.