Every Employer’s Nightmare: Labor Inspection. Read On To Learn How To Prepare For Labor Audit
Labor inspection – what to expect?
If you are an employer, you must have feared at least once that the Labor Inspectorate would knock on your door. Although you try to operate fully in accordance with the relevant regulations, there will always be concerns about possible omissions.
Before the adoption of the Labor Inspectorate’s annual inspection plan for 2023, this is the perfect time to think about what you can expect from the inspection.
Therefore, in the rest of the article, we will give you answers to possible doubts that you may have in the hope that we will help you to bring your business into line with legal regulations and prepare for the inspection.
What is the subject of supervision of the Labor Inspectorate?
The Labor Inspectorate supervises the implementation of regulations governing the rights, obligations and responsibilities of employees. They are regulated in two ways – by state regulations and acts that are created by the agreement of employers and employees.
By state regulations, we mean primarily the Labor Law, but also accompanying laws for labor law matters, such as the Law on Prevention of Abuse at Work, the Law on Safety and Health Protection at Work, the Law on Strikes and the Law on the Protection of the Population from Exposure to Tobacco Smoke.
Acts resulting from the agreement of employers and employees are collective agreements and employment contracts (which must be in accordance with state regulations).
The labor inspector can inspect general and individual acts, records and other documentation, as well as inspect business premises, buildings, etc. Both the employer and the employee are obliged to enable the labor inspector to carry out supervision and inspect the documentation, as well as to provide him with all the information necessary to perform the inspection supervision.
Some of the most frequent violations of these regulations are non-conclusion of employment contracts (so-called “undocumented work”), unsanitary working conditions, non-payment of wages, termination of employment contracts in violation of legal provisions, failure to provide special protection for certain categories of employees, etc.
For more information on possible violations: Mistakes That Can Cost You A Fortune! Find Out How To Avoid A Labor Dispute In Serbia
When is the labor inspection performed?
First of all, the Labor Inspectorate carries out supervision ex officio – according to the regular plan of inspection supervision or extraordinary, when it is necessary in order to take urgent measures in order to eliminate immediate danger to life or health of people, property, rights and interests of employees and employed persons, economy, environment, etc.
Regardless of that, the report can be submitted by workers and other interested parties. The report is submitted to the Labor Inspectorate, and there is no prescribed form on which it is submitted, but a free form is applied (via email, by phone, by going to the premises of the Labor Inspectorate).
The report can also be submitted anonymously because the Labor Inspectorate is obliged to act on each report. The only difference is that, if the report is submitted anonymously, the person who submitted the report will not receive information about the performed supervision and the measures taken.
By law, inspectors announce supervision – but is that really the case in practice?
The Law on Inspection Supervision stipulates that the inspector informs the supervised entity in writing about the upcoming inspection supervision, no later than 3 days before the beginning of the supervision (electronically or in paper form).
In the same article, several cases are listed in which the inspection is not announced, such as – the existence of a justified fear that the notification would reduce the achievement of the objective of inspection, protection of public interest, elimination of danger to life or health of people, etc.
However, Serbia is a signatory to Convention 81 of the International Labor Organization, which refers to the work of labor inspection and in which, among other things, it is written that labor inspectors enter freely without prior warning at any time of the day and night into any company that is subject to inspection control.
Accordingly, and as the Committee of the International Labor Organization ordered that Serbia harmonize its regulations with Convention 81, in practice only a small percentage of supervision is actually announced.
What can the Labor Inspectorate do?
First of all, the inspector in the inspection supervision procedure can temporarily confiscate documentation, goods and other objects, if a special law prescribes their confiscation in order to secure evidence in the procedure. And when the prescribed law does not prescribe the temporary confiscation of objects, the inspector is authorized to temporarily confiscate them in the inspection supervision procedure in order to secure evidence if there is a justified fear that some evidence will not be able to be presented later or that its presentation will be difficult.
On the other hand, the inspector can impose an administrative measure on the supervised entity, namely – a preventive measure, a measure to eliminate illegality, a special order, a prohibition or confiscation measure or a measure to protect the rights of third parties. As a rule, those measures are determined in the minutes. If the supervised subject does not act according to the measures specified in the minutes, the inspector will impose those measures by decision.
If he discovers illegality in the supervised entity that is punishable by law or another regulation, the inspector submits a criminal report, a report for economic offense, or a request to initiate misdemeanor proceedings to the competent judicial authority, i.e. issues a misdemeanor order.
If he discovers illegality in the supervised entity, the inspector undertakes other actions and measures authorized by law or other regulation, e.g. initiation of temporary or permanent license revocation.
P.S. Bearing in mind the possible omissions, consider hiring an expert in labor law matters who will help you to fulfill your obligations under the Law without any mistakes.
For more information on this or any other legal, tax, or business topic, feel free to write to us at [email protected] at any time or call us at phone number +381113281914 every working day from 08:30 to 16:30.