In the modern working environment, compliance with labor law norms is essential for any enterprise, regardless of its size or industry. Control over compliance with these norms is entrusted to the Executive Agency “General Labor Inspectorate”, which plays a key role in ensuring legality and fairness in labor relations. This article aims to look at the main aspects of the checks carried out by the Labor Inspectorate and to prepare employers for what they can expect in 2024.
Here you will find out:
According to Art. 399 of the Labor Code, comprehensive control over compliance with labor legislation in all industries and activities, including the payment of unpaid wages and benefits after termination of the employment relationship, is carried out by the Executive Agency “General Labor Inspectorate” at the Minister of Labor and Social politics. The Executive Agency “General Labor Inspectorate” also carries out specialized control activities on compliance with the legislation related to the performance of the civil service and the rights and obligations of the parties to the employment relationship.
Inspection by the Labor Inspectorate is a process that aims to establish whether enterprises comply with established labor law standards and legislation.Through inspections, the Inspectorate identifies any violations and takes the necessary measures to correct them, thereby striving to improve working conditions and protect the rights of workers.
IMPORTANT! In most cases, an inspection is initiated at the signal of citizens or other administrative bodies.Some industries are considered by the Labor Inspectorate to be more risky - “Agriculture and construction remain among the main priorities of the control activity of the General Labor Inspectorate. When planning them, it has been taken into account that both economic activities are among the risks both in terms of occupational traumatism and in the occurrence, modification and termination of employment relationships. Provision is made for checks on ensuring health and safety during construction works and on the lawful occurrence of employment relationships under one-day contracts in the Crop Production sector.
The labour inspectorate plays a vital role in maintaining fair and legal working conditions in all spheres of the economy. It is important to understand exactly how the verification process is initiated so that employers can prepare and respond adequately.
There are certain categories of enterprises and workplaces that, by law, are subject to regular inspections by the Labor Inspectorate. This usually includes places with an increased risk to the health and safety of workers, such as:
Inspections are also often carried out in industries where more seasonal or foreign workers are hired - namely the sphere of agriculture and forestry, as well as the sphere of hotel and restaurant industry.
Such inspections are mandatory and are carried out in order to ensure that these establishments comply with strict occupational safety and health standards.
In addition to periodic inspections, a significant proportion of inspections are initiated on the basis of a report submitted by current or former workers who are or have witnessed potential infringements. This is an important mechanism for detecting and resolving problems that may not be detected during regular inspections.
Also, citizens who are in no way connected with the enterprise can report possible violations. Although these persons are not entitled to receive information on the results of the inspection, their input can be valuable in identifying infringements that affect public safety or the environment.
The law protects the rights of anyone who reports violations of labor law, guaranteeing anonymity and protection from possible reprisals. It is important to note that the inspection is obliged to examine each submitted signal and take the appropriate steps to verify the signal.
In this context, employers must be particularly careful and responsibly approach the management of working conditions in their organizations. Preparing for potential inspections includes not only compliance with legislation, but also the development of a culture of openness and transparency that promotes the safety and well-being of all employees.
The labor inspectorate has a wide range of powers when carrying out inspections, including the right to request documents, conduct interviews with workers and employers, as well as conduct on-site inspections. These powers facilitate the Inspectorate in its task of ensuring that all employers comply with labour laws and regulations.
Inspectors in the Labor Inspectorate have the right to enter freely and without prior notice to any enterprise that falls under their jurisdiction. This means that they can carry out checks at any time, both during the day and at night, to make sure that the legal regulations are being duly complied with.
Inspectors may carry out studies, inspections and investigations that they deem necessary to ensure compliance with legal regulations. This includes questioning employers and workers, as well as reviewing all relevant books, registers and documents. Inspectors shall also have the right to take and take samples of materials and substances for examination.
Control bodies have the right to require the employer to provide all necessary documents, papers and certified copies in connection with the exercise of control. This also includes the right to be informed directly by workers on all matters relating to the exercise of control.
Employers and employees are obliged to assist the supervisory authorities in the performance of their functions. Any unlawful interference with a controlling authority may result in administrative-criminal liability for the employer or their officials.
According to international and national regulations, enterprises must be inspected with such frequency and care as is necessary to ensure the effective enforcement of legal provisions. The aim is to ensure that all employers consistently comply with health and safety requirements at work.
Inspections by the Labor Inspectorate are an important mechanism for ensuring compliance with labor legislation and protecting the rights of workers. Employers should be prepared and understand their obligations in the process of such checks to ensure a smooth review and avoid possible sanctions.
During the inspection, inspectors from the Labor Inspectorate will conduct an inspection of the workplace. The employer is obliged to provide the necessary assistance to inspectors, including free access to all premises where work is carried out. The main objective is to check whether working conditions comply with safety and health legislation. It is important for the employer to understand that cooperation with the control bodies is not only an obligation, but also part of the responsible management of resources and the care of workers.
One of the key aspects of the inspection is the presentation of certain documents to the inspectors. The employer must have the following documents prepared and easily accessible:
The absence of these documents at work can be reported as a violation, although it does not always lead to punishment. It is important that this is such a violation first and that the employer has not been warned before about the same problem.
Inspectors may request workers' labor records to verify compliance with labor legislation. The following documents must be present in the employment record:
Maintaining up-to-date and complete employment records is not only a legal requirement, but also an indicator of good administrative practice of the enterprise.
Upon verification by the Labor Inspectorate, the employer has clear obligations to assist, provide information and documents, as well as provide the necessary access to jobs. Appropriate preparation and understanding of these obligations can greatly facilitate the verification process and help to build positive relationships with control authorities. At the same time, it is also part of the responsibility of every employer to create a safe and healthy working environment for their employees.
The labor inspectorate has broad powers to impose sanctions when detecting violations of labor legislation, these measures range from warnings to significant fines. It is important that employers understand these sanctions in order to take the necessary steps to avoid them.
At first inspection, the results usually include factual and establishment papers, which detail the violations found and issue specific prescriptions for their elimination. These requirements are mandatory and should be complied with within the established deadlines. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in administrative penalties for subsequent inspections.
Penalties that may be imposed include:
Failure to comply with a compulsory administrative measure or a mandatory prescription of a control body of the labour inspectorate leads to penalties with property penalties or fines in the amount of BGN 1500 to BGN 15,000.
Employers or their officials who interfere with the performance of the supervisory authority's official duties may be sanctioned with financial penalties or fines of up to BGN 20,000.
Penalties for violations of labor legislation are designed to promote compliance with the norms of health and safety at work and to ensure the protection of workers' rights. Employers should actively seek compliance with these norms and take the necessary steps to prevent possible violations in order to avoid sanctions and ensure a safe and healthy workplace for their employees.
Employers should be well prepared for the possibility of inspection by the Labor Inspectorate. This includes keeping up-to-date and complete records of all employment contracts, working hours, wages, and other important documents. In addition, it is important to understand the rights and obligations of both employers and workers to ensure that any issues or problems can be resolved quickly and efficiently.
Drawing up a detailed inspection action plan and conducting regular internal inspections are additional steps that can greatly facilitate the process and help employers stay in compliance with labor legislation. Also, a proactive approach to solving potential problems and maintaining open communication with employees can contribute to the creation of a positive and lawful work environment.
In the field of labor relations and legislation, inspections by the Labor Inspectorate are events that can cause significant tension and uncertainty among employers. At such times, professional support and consultation are critical. Elan Consulting stands out as a reliable partner in these situations, offering expertise and experience that can be decisive for a positive outcome of inspections.
With over 100 successful inspections by the Labor Inspectorate, Elan Consulting has proven its effectiveness in helping companies go through this process with maximum favorability. Our statistics speak for themselves: in all cases, when we have been engaged on time, we manage not only to avoid imposing large fines and sanctions on our customers, but also in numerous cases to reduce the amount of these fines.
One of the key factors for the success of Elan Consulting is our ability to provide clients with advice and guidance on the preparation and maintenance of documentation and work records in accordance with legal requirements. In most cases, this leads to the issuance of blanket prescriptions by inspectors, which is the best possible outcome for the employer, when all documents and files are in order and no violations are found.
In conclusion, choosing Elan Consulting as your partner when checking by the Labor Inspectorate is a guarantee of professionalism, security and reduction of the risk of negative consequences. We are here to support you and ensure that your enterprise is fully prepared to meet all the requirements of the legislation.