Wondering what a labour inspector will check at your company during an inspection?
In June, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia discussed the 2013 Labour Inspectorate Report, in which the Inspectorate highlighted the fact that the inspectors operating under the auspice of all three inspectorates completed a total of 18,745 inspections. The majority, or precisely 10,958 inspections, were conducted by inspectors in the segment supervising employment relationships; slightly fewer inspections (7,596) were completed in the segment of occupational safety and health, where 117 workplace accidents were investigated. There were 191 inspections completed focusing on social inspection.
In the segment of employment-related inspections, inspectors in 2013 recorded 6,515 new breaches. As the most common breaches, the Labour Inspectorate primarily lists breaches associated with remuneration for work and other employment-related earnings, which have appeared in particular over the past five years due to liquidity problems incurred by employers. There are also plenty of employment breaches in a broader sense, such as the breach of the provisions of the Employment Relationships Act relating to employment contracts, undeclared work and improper employment of foreign nationals, in addition to the irregularities associated with the keeping of labour and social security records. The most common breaches associated with occupational heath and safety in the past few years relate to the drafting of risk assessments and declarations of safety with risk assessments.
In 2013, the Labour inspectorate imposed 12,121 minor offences and administrative measures relating to tax-free income (fines, court and administrative fees, costs of proceedings, etc.), thus accumulating more than EUR 4 million in fines. Most often inspectors issue regulatory decisions, in which employers are ordered to remedy irregularities and decisions prohibiting the work process and use of work means until the irregularities are remedied.
So what will the Labour Inspectorate verify in 2014? This year the inspectors' supervisory activity will focus primarily on regulations, where the majority of breaches have been recorded in the past or on activities where entities subject to supervision have not been reviewed for an extended period of time. Campaigns are planned state-wide in shorter intense intervals, engaging simultaneously a high number of inspectors. Special attention will be given to the chaining of fixed-term employment contracts and to the prohibition of concluding civil law contracts when elements of an employment relationship are present. Primarily, targeted campaigns will be carried out in health care, the educational sector, transportation and at public utility companies. In the segment of occupational health and safety, inspectors will continue to supervise the assurance of a decent work environment and protection against the impact of psychosocial factors (work-place mobbing, stress, ill-treatment, etc.) on the health of employees. Supervisions will be conducted particularly at temporary and mobile construction sites, at catering establishments and bakeries, as well as at randomly selected employers.
Despite the above statistic, the likelihood of an inspection being conducted at your company is minimal. The majority of all inspections is accounted for by extraordinary inspections, which the Labour Inspectorate conducts based on individual complains, while the Inspectorate completed only 6,055 random inspections in 2013 in the scope of the targeted campaigns, which is roughly one third of all inspections completed.
Given that according to AJPES data there were 193,412 commercial entities registered in Slovenia at the end of 2013, the Labour Inspectorate conducted a random inspection in only just over 3% of all employers. The likelihood that an inspector visits you randomly is also minor considering that the number of entities is growing in past years, while in contrast the number of inspectors is declining. In addition, the Inspectorate in its report draws attention to the significant growth in the caseload of new cases, due to which inspectors cannot resolve all the unresolved cases, on an ongoing basis.