March 2009 (based on information from 2008)
Labour Inspection Structure and organization
Name of the institution that manages work issues
Ministry of Labour and Transport Management http://www.moltm.gov.np/
Department(s) in charge of Labour Inspection
The Ministry of Labour and Transport Management is responsible for labour inspection. The ministry is divided into two divisions, two departments and one directorate. These are: (1) the Employment Promotion, Administration and Transport Management Division which includes: Foreign Employment, Monitoring and Inspection Section; (2) the Policy Planning and Labour Relations; (3) the Department of Labour and Employment Promotion; (4) the Department of Transport Management and (5) the Vocational and Skill Development Training Directorate. The Department of Labour and Employment Promotion is the central level execution body of labour administration as well as the coordinating body of all labour offices established in the field. The responsibilities of the department include: following up the enforcement of labour legislation and coordinating the field office job of labour inspection, occupational safety and health.
Law that covers organization and functional composition
• Labour Act (2048), 1992
Scope of labour inspection
Labour inspection in Nepal, as an institution, is almost inexistent. There are two categories of staff that control the application of labour law provisions: labour officers and factory inspectors. Factory inspectors focus on occupational safety and health, basically checking machinery such as steam generators. Labour officers focus on working conditions. In practice, due to the problem of scarce human resources, factory inspectors are in fact assigned as labour officers – chiefs of the offices - and control the application of working conditions as well.
There are ten labour offices with the task of supervising, administering and monitoring labour legislation. These labour offices cover all the administrative regions of the country. Support provided to labour offices in the fields by the central level is minimal.
Programming and communication
The inspectors set annual targets themselves, but the central authorities demand no targets, which seems to be rooted in the lack of proper data collection for statistical purposes. But since data is not properly collected, statistics are not available and planning is therefore inexistent. Planning does not have a strategic component to it, and it is a mere compilation of the work projected in each of the field offices, based on past experience.
Coordination with field offices is an area where efficiency could be improved, (with little resource allocation) starting with strategic planning.
Technical support has been provided by the ILO to identify short, medium and long term actions that could be taken to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of labour inspection.
Among the recommendations made, we can highlight the creation of a new labour inspectorate with increase functional responsibilities, labour law reforms, mechanisms to increase the number of labour inspectors, accredited companies/entities to carry out certain specialized audits/certification, and the empowerment of labour inspectors.
Human Resources and career development
Permanency of inspectors
Currently, there is no career development strategy with clear promotion opportunities in place.
In a number of cases, labour inspectors are assigned to the labour office in the field structure of the labour administration without any prior experience in the field of labour. It becomes a “learning-by-doing” process to carry out the duties and exercise the powers of labour officers.
Factory inspectors are engineers by education.
Visits and functions
Types of visits
Role of preventive measures
The Occupational Safety and Health Project was established under the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management in 1995 with the prime objective of creating the awareness of occupational safety and health among industrial employers, employees and the concerned officials of the government and thereby improving the conditions of work. Among its objectives is to facilitate regular and organized workplace inspection and monitoring for effective implementation of the legal provisions of workplace improvement, to provide training facilities to all the stakeholders for the protection and promotion of the safety and health of the workers. Moreover, the project facilitates regular and organized workplace monitoring and provides advisory services on the possible improvement of the workplace, with respect to the protection and promotion of workers occupational safety and health.
Registries and reporting of accidents/diseases at work
Sanctions and administrative processes
Inspectors do not have prosecution authority.
Social partners and labour inspection
The Labour Act foresees the creation of Welfare Officers to be appointed in every establishment employing 250 or more workers or employees. The general manager of the establishment designates the Welfare Officer and the labour department must be notified accordingly. The functions, duties and powers of the Welfare Officer and the Assistant Welfare Officer, according to the Act, “shall be as prescribed”.
In July 2008, there was ongoing discussion on involving the social partners in “certified” inspector programmes in order to assist the central authority.
ILO Conventions ratified
Nepal has neither ratified Convention No. 81 nor No. 129.