Temporary cessation of activity, removal of young workers, administrative fines … new measures aimed at strengthening the powers of the Labour Inspectorate from 1 July 2016.
Labor inspection control officers are responsible for monitoring the application of labor law and health and safety regulations, measures under the responsibility of employers.
As of 1 July 2016, the said agents will be strengthened with more powers of intervention.
The generalization of the temporary cessation of activity
At present, a screening officer may issue a temporary work stoppage when there is, for the life or health of an employee, a grave and imminent danger due mainly to a lack of protection against falls from height or the no kind of devices to minimize the risk of burial.
This procedure will now be applied in all sectors.
Similarly, the temporary suspension of work or activity may be pronounced in the presence of electrical risks or risks due to the use of work equipment without adequate protection.
The protection of young workers
If the control officer finds that a worker aged below 18 is assigned to one or more prohibited work, he will disengage him immediately from this assignment.
It is the same when the young assigned to one or more regulated work is placed in a situation exposing his life or health to serious and imminent danger .
In addition, If the screening officer notices that an employee, including temporary or student under 18 years is subject to a substantial risk of injury to health, security or physical or moral integrity, the Regional Directors will propose to the Direccte to suspend the employment contract of the young employee or the agreement of the trainee. The employer shall, during this suspension, maintain payment of the remuneration due to the young empoyee.
If within 15 days the suspension, the Direccte believes that the worker can not return to his post, the contract of employment or internship agreement will be broken. The employer will then pay the employee the amount which he would have been liable if the employment relationship had continued to the end, or for an employee on permanent contracts, those due to the end of training work followed.
Note: the entry into force of such measures is subject to the publication of an implementing decree.
The Direccte, on report of the screening officer, may impose administrative fines against employers not complying with certain provisions of the Labour Code (maximum working time, rest, minimum wage …) or infringing the decisions of the Labour inspection taken in health and safety (judgment in hazardous work or withdrawal of a young worker).
The amount of the fine will be determined according to the circumstances and gravity of the violation, the employer’s conduct and its resources, and its expenses, within the limit of € 2,000 per employee. Moreover, the sanction may rise to € 10,000 per employee, if the employer ignores the decision of the Labour Inspectorate.
The plea agreement
The Direccte must popose the employer with an offense to enter a plea bargain. This procedure covers offenses under the Labour Code relating in particular to the employment contract, internal regulations and disciplinary law but also of working hours, rest and leave, health and safety at work .
However, it does not apply to offenses punishable by a prison sentence of at least one year or to offenses that may be subject to an administrative fine.
Specifically, a proposed transaction stating, inter alia, the alleged offenses, the penalty prescribed by the Labour Code, the amount of the fine and suggested payment period and possibly, the obligations imposed on the employer to stop the offense, will be sent to the company which will have one month to give its agreement. After this time and no response from her, the transaction will be considered to be refused by the employer.
The deal signed by the employer must be approved by the Public Prosecutor. The offense has been this procedure will be terminated as soon as the employer has fulfilled these obligations.