11.09.2020 Labour law

National Labour Inspectorate (PIP) inspections during the pandemic

Between March 15 and the end of July, the National Labour Inspectorate carried out over 10 thousand inspections of entrepreneurs. As a result of these activities over 2 thousand fines were issued, for a total amount of 2.4 million PLN. For what infringements were the companies punished most often?

The majority of the fines issued by PIP during the coronavirus pandemic were related to non-compliance with health and safety rules and failure to pay remunerations on time. One of the most frequently detected misconduct was the failure to update the risk assessment of the COVID-19. The inspectors sent 139 applications for punishment to the courts and 96 notifications of suspected offences.

Risk zones

National Labour Inspectorate (PIP) has announced more frequent inspections in companies due to the development of the epidemiological situation in the country. The inspections are to concern especially risk zones, the so-called yellow and red districts.

The inspectors will check, among other things, whether:

  • the employees are equipped with personal protective equipment (hand disinfectants, masks or visors, gloves)
  • the required distance between workstations is maintained (min. 1.5 metres)

Inspections of the home office

PIP employees will control the compliance with the health and safety rules of remote working employees if the National Labour Inspectorate receives appropriate notification of a possible violation of these rules. The notifications may be made by employees whose employer has refused to deal with the problem reported by them, concerning the failure to provide appropriate working conditions in accordance with the provisions on the temporary assignment of remote work under the amendment of the Act on the anti-crisis shield.

The guidelines for inspectors controlling employers

The guidelines of the Chief Labour Inspector and Chief Sanitary Inspector concerning inspections carried out by labour inspection units during the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic were passed on to inspectors in June this year.

These recommendations show that inspections in high-risk plants, i.e. those in which the crew is found or suspected to be ill and whose business nature is likely to increase the risk of disease, should be postponed and their implementation should depend on the development of the epidemiological situation.

When inspecting, an inspector is obliged to respect the restrictions and obligations of the employer related to the prevention of the spread of SARS-CoV-2, and more importantly, an inspector may conduct control operations in no more than one entity per working day.

When carrying out inspections, inspectors should use a separate room and the control should be as short as possible. During the inspection, the following rules should also be observed:

  • before the inspection, contact the entity by phone so as to obtain information on the sanitary regime in force or, if necessary, after the phone call, check changes in the current situation,
  • use safety measures (mouth and nose protection, hand and shoe disinfection, use of a separate room made available by the entrepreneur and keep the required distance min. 2 m),
  • comply with the safety procedures in force at the controlled entity,
  • show the employer or the authorised person a service card and authorisation to carry out inspection activities,
  • use electronic means of communication to transfer documents,
  • reduce the meetings requiring the direct/physical presence of a larger number of employees,
  • limit as far as possible the time of the visit and the contact with the people from the company,
  • after the inspection, submit the inspection protocol remotely via the e-PUAP platform or by post.

Learn more: PPK: Information obligations of employers

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