Compliance Failure is a Risk to Your Business

We have noticed an increase in workplace inspections across the country and a number of Employers being issued with non-compliance orders for various reasons. Mega Blitz inspections are formed by various DoEL teams “flooding” identified areas. The national multi-stakeholder Mega Blitz inspections started in the later part of 2020 in the Eastern Cape and the Gauteng Province is the eighth to be followed by the Northern Cape.

Labour inspectors visit the workplace in order to ensure compliance with labour law, especially the following:

  • Labour Relations Act
  • Basic Conditions of Employment Act (“BCEA”)
  • Sectoral Determination or Bargaining Council Agreement
  • Compensation for Occupational Injury and Diseases Act
  • Employment Equity Act
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Unemployment Insurance Act
  • Immigration Act

View the September 2022 Mega Blitz report here.

View the National Roving Team Performance report here.

Tips for Inspections:

1. Verify the Identity of the Labour Inspector

Before the inspection the employer has the right to verify the identity of the person claiming to be a labour inspector, before granting the person access to the workplace.  There are cases where persons impersonate labour inspectors to gain access to the workplace for various reasons.  Should the person not have the relevant documentation on hand the employer can refuse them access to the workplace or contact the DoEL directly. A labour inspector is issued with a certificate stating the following:

  • That the person is a labour inspector appointed by the DoEL
  • The legislation the inspector may monitor; and
  • The functions the labour inspector may perform

2. Access to the Workplace

Labour inspectors may enter workplaces at any reasonable time without notice or warrant, to monitor and enforce compliance with labour legislation.  In some instances a labour inspector will notify employers of a planned visit.  Questions that will be asked and addressed during the inspection are usually included in such a notification.

3. Labour Inspectors Inspection Lists (Generally)

During an inspection a labour inspector will check various points in terms of compliance with labour legislation and can request copies of company registration documents, employment contracts and payslips.  Labour inspectors in some instances also interview some employees.

  • Basic Conditions of Employment Act

This inspection focusses ion compliance with the minimum terms and conditions of employment the employee and employer may agree on, including applicable industry specific legislation.  The inspector will look at the following:

  • Employment contract
  • Attendance register
  • Information about remuneration (payslips, minimum wage, overtime, paid leave, working hours etc.)
  • UIF and COIDA registration and proof of payments made
  • List of all employees’ names and ID numbers

Non-compliance: the inspector will issue the employer with a compliance order (dated) after which a monetary penalty or imprisonment may be imposed.

  • Employment Equity Act

This inspection focusses on compliance with the Employment Equity Act which aims to eliminate unfair discrimination in the workplace and promote equal opportunity and fair treatment.  “Designated employers” are employers who meet certain criteria, and they have additional obligations.

Non-compliance: a “designated employer” can be fined for the first offence: R1.5m or 10% of the employer’s annual turnover (whichever is the greater) and/or 10 years imprisonment.

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act

This inspection focusses on compliance with the health and safety regulations to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.  The inspector will look at the legislative poster, health and safety representative and committee, applicable signage, and personal protective equipment etc.

Non-compliance: the inspector will issue the employer with a compliance order (dated) and/or temporarily shut down business activities depending on the severity of the non-compliance. Continuous non-compliance may result I penalties, imprisonment, and possible criminal prosecution. 

If you fail any aspect of the inspection, the inspector will issue a compliance order and will explain to you what is required to ensure compliance within a specified timeframe.  It is imperative that you meet these deadlines to avoid further prosecution. Legal implications and consequences for the employer in cases of non-compliance can include fines (between R300 (minimum) and R1500 (maximum)) per employee and imprisonment (one year (minimum) and 6 years (maximum)). If an employer has received a compliance order and fails to comply within 14 days of receiving the order, the Director General may apply to the CCMA in terms of Rule 31B for the compliance order to be made an arbitration award.

4. The Inspector has a Number of Rights!

  • The right to information relating to employment laws
  • The right to make copies of documents
  • The right to inspect and question you about any article substance or machinery at the workplace
  • The right to question employees about the work they do
  • The right to inspect or question you about documents relating to employment laws

If the inspector removes any items from your workplace, he or she must acknowledge receipt and return it within a reasonable time.

Require assistance? E-mail us with your enquiry here.