23.09.2020 Labour law

PIP inspections during the pandemic

From 15 March till the end of July, the National Labour Inspectorate (PIP) carried out over 10,000 inspections. As a result, over 2,000 fines were imposed for a total of PLN 2.4 million. What were the most common infringements for which companies were fined?

Most of the fines imposed by the PIP during the coronavirus pandemic were related to non-compliance with health and safety rules and late payment of wages. One of the most frequently detected irregularities was improper occupational risk assessment in connection with the COVID-19 threat. The inspectors submitted 139 motions for fines to the courts and 96 notifications of suspected offence.

High risk zones

PIP announces more frequent inspections in companies due to the epidemiological situation in the country. The inspections are to be carried out especially in high risk zones, i.e. yellow and red districts.

During the inspection, the inspectors will check whether:

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

Home work checks  

PIP inspectors will control the observance of occupational health and safety rules of workers working remotely, if the National Labor Inspectorate receives an appropriate notification of a possible violation of these rules. Reports can be submitted by workers whose employer has refused to deal with the problem reported by them, concerning failure to provide adequate working conditions in accordance with the provisions on temporary outsourcing of remote work as part of the amendment to the anti-crisis shield.

Learn more: Registration and settlement of working time

Guidelines for inspectors controlling employers

Guidelines of the Chief Labour Inspector and Chief Sanitary Inspector regarding control activities carried out by labour inspection units during the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic were provided to inspectors in June this year.

These guidelines show that inspections in high-risk establishments, i.e. those in which the staff has been diagnosed with or is suspected of disease, and whose nature of activity may increase the risk of falling ill, should be postponed, and their carrying out is to depend on the development of the epidemiological situation.

During the inspection, the inspector is obliged to respect the employer’s restrictions and obligations related to the prevention of the spread of SARS-CoV-2, and, more importantly, the inspection activities may be carried out in no more than one entity on a given working day.

During the control activities, the inspectors should use a separate room, and the inspection should last as short as possible. In addition, the inspectors should adhere to the following principles during the inspection:

  • before the inspection, contact the company by phone in order to obtain information on the sanitary regime in force in the inspected entity, or possibly after a telephone conversation check how the situation has changed,
  • use protective measures (mouth and nose protection, disinfection of hands and shoes, use of a dedicated room provided by the employer and maintaining the required distance of at least 2 m),
  • adhere to the safety procedures in force in the controlled entity,
  • show the employer or an authorized person an official ID and authorization to conduct the inspection activities,
  • use electronic means of communication to submit documents,
  • reduce meetings that require direct / physical presence of several persons,
  • limit time of visits and contacts with people from the company as much as possible,
  • after the inspection, submit the inspection report remotely via the e-PUAP platform or the postal operator.

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