PIP control - the trader must always be ready

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Ordinance No. 18 of the Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland of 3 December 2007 on establishing the model of the official identity card for employees of the National Labor Inspectorate performing or supervising control activities, M.P. 92, item. 1007 indicates that labor inspectors have the right to enter and conduct inspections of employers and other entities for which work is performed by natural persons without prior notice. It follows that the PIP control can be carried out at any time of the day or night. Inspectors refer to this ordinance and maintain this statement in practice. What can PIP control actually look like and what form does it take?

PIP control - legal regulation

The principles of control are regulated by the Act of 13 April 2007 on the National Labor Inspectorate and the Act of 2 July 2004 on the freedom of economic activity, Art. 77 sec. 1, which provides that the control of economic activity of entrepreneurs is carried out on the principles set out in this Act, unless the principles and procedure of control result from directly applicable provisions of generally applicable Community law or from ratified international agreements. Of 2 of the above-mentioned article states that in the scope not regulated in Chapter 5 of the Act on freedom of economic activity, special provisions shall apply, i.e. the already mentioned Act on the National Labor Inspectorate.

The Chief Labor Inspector's guidelines give the inspectors a free hand to initiate control activities without the need to notify the entrepreneur in advance of the intention and date of the visit. However, such an action must be justified.

Example 1.

On the way to work, the labor inspector noticed an improperly set scaffolding on which the builders were working. Due to the direct threat to their life or health, the labor inspector may immediately start an inspection of the entrepreneur who employs them.

Example 2.

The labor inspection received a complaint against an employer who illegally (without the required work permits in Poland, employment contracts, etc.) employs foreigners.

In connection with art. 120 of the Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labor market institutions, such action is an offense and in this case the labor inspector will not inform the employer about his plans to visit him.

Labor inspectors, however, bear in mind that their actions can sometimes disrupt the course of work and, in order not to lead to disorganization, they make an earlier announcement, for example by phone or in person.

PIP control - procedure

A typical entrepreneur's control can be divided into three basic stages:

  • presentation of the identity card and authorization for inspection by the inspector,

  • meeting with the employer and trade unions,

  • proper control.

After the inspector's identification, the entrepreneur is authorized to carry out an inspection of only the named, usually one, labor inspector. This document shows:

  • what will be the scope of control, e.g. legal protection of work, including occupational health and safety, provisions on legality of employment, working time or records of employees performing work in special conditions or of a special nature;

  • the envisaged period of the inspection and the place of its performance;

  • on the instruction, the employer will find out what his rights and obligations are during the inspector's visit.

Objection from PIP inspections

The entrepreneur has the right to raise objections if the inspector undertakes and performs the inspection in violation of the provisions of the act on economic activity, including in particular the regulation concerning the notification of the intention to initiate the inspection. It follows that the labor inspector should consider cases of entering the workplace without prior notice.

The objection shall be filed in writing with the authority undertaking the inspection, and the inspecting inspector shall also be notified of its submission. The employer has three working days from the initiation of the inspection to file an objection. It must be submitted together with the justification.This suspends further control activities from the moment the inspector is delivered the notification about the submitted letter until it is considered. The inspector has the right to protect, for the time the objection is examined, evidence related to the inspection, which may include, among others, both paper documents and electronic media. The inspection body has three working days to examine the objection and issue a decision in this matter. The inspection body may issue a decision to withdraw from inspection activities or to continue them. If he does not take any actions within these three days, it is tantamount to issuing a decision to withdraw from the inspection activities. However, if it issues a decision, the entrepreneur is entitled to a complaint within three days of receiving the letter.