Labour inspection country profile: the Republic of Moldova

Labour Inspection Country Profile

Moldova

March 2009

Name of the institution that manages work issues

The Ministry of Economy and Trade. http://www.mec.gov.md/

Department(s) in charge of Labour Inspection

Moldova’s labour inspectorate is set up as an independent authority under the Ministry of Economy and Trade. The labour inspectorate was organized in 2002 around a central administration. The central authority has two divisions: a division for monitoring the application of labour legislation and labour protection regulations and a division for inspection technologies, logistics and accounting.

Besides the labour inspectorate, there are specialized inspection services under the Ministry of Health, notably the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service (Preventive Medicine Services), a service inspecting electric and thermal installations, and a unit in charge of radiation protection and nuclear safety.

Traditionally, the Ministry of Health dealt with health and hygiene issues and the Ministry of Economy and Trade with safety and work accidents. The division of competencies between the two Ministries was clear until the adoption of the new OSH law, where health issues have also been entrusted to the Ministry of Economy and Trade, and the division of tasks in the area of OSH have become obscure.

Laws that cover organization and functional composition

Labour Inspection Law of 29 June 2001

Labour Code of 2003

Law 186 /2008 on safety and health

Regulation No. 395 of 1 April 2003

Scope of labour inspection

The labour inspectorate ensures compliance with legislation and collective agreements with respect to working conditions, wages, labour relations and child labour. Moreover, it is involved in the training of workers and approves the safety of work equipment and technical devices before these go into production. It also monitors compliance with labour-related legislation within the central and local public administration.

The new law on safety and health at work (Law No. 186 of 10.08.2008, in effect as of January 2009) grants the labour inspectors the competence of supervising the different provisions of the new text and emphasizes preventive actions in relation to occupational safety and health. This also gives de facto occupational safety and health inspection competencies, to the inspectorate. This new competence, has led to some confusion concerning the role of the Ministry of Health in prevention activities (in the field of health) that were attributed to it until now by the Labour Protection Act and the Labour Code (previous law).

Local divisions

The labour administration system is not decentralized, with the exception of the labour inspection service and the employment service which are distributed in the 10 territorial structures. This lack of decentralization overcharges the inspection service with some tasks which at central level are developed for specialized services.

Programming and communication

Moldova has an organized and rationally structured labour inspectorate with a good network of relationships with other public administration services. It is a coordinated labour inspection system, with a clear role for the central authority. Labour inspection planning is done at central and territorial levels (annual, quarterly and monthly). It has potential for good collaboration with the social partners (bipartite agreements), as well as procedural guidelines for carrying out compliance inspection.

The central authority has established functional and administrative coordination with the 10 territorial units, first by periodically issuing general ordinances concerning the tasks of the territorial units in specific branches or areas, and secondly through periodical meetings with the regional directors. On an average of every two months, other meetings are also called for the exchange of work experiences. Based on a yearly central plan, each of the ten territorial units develops a quarterly and monthly plan following the central authority’s criteria. They produce an annual report of activities based on monthly and quarterly reports (by activity and number of workers).

There are no joint ordinances, establishing procedures for cooperation between the labour inspection and the Ministry of Health (although there are agreements for cooperation between the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Industry and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources).

Current reforms

The Government of Norway is funding a technical cooperation project on Enhancing Labour Inspection Effectiveness, for improving, reinvigorating and modernizing the labour inspection system in Moldova within the framework of the already-ratified labour inspection Conventions.

Permanency of inspectors

All labour inspectors have the status of civil servants, status that guarantees their stable employment and their independence from changes in government. There is no real human resources strategy for their career development.

Selection process

Inspectors are selected through a competition process, generally based on their CVs; examinations are not given. There are only three categories of employees: director, deputy-director and inspector. Job descriptions, selection processes and examinations for recruitment and policies of promotion or seniority are non-existent. Salaries and incentives are also not attractive.

Background required

There is no national or territorial training plan. Inspectors receive only general introductory instructions from a specialist from the central authority. Practical training is gained from experience and guidance from senior officials.

Types of visits

Inspectors perform programmed visits and also at the request of individuals and other authorities. Inspectors prepare the visit with the territorial director, looking for enterprise information but in some cases they need to make a first visit to collect data and information. In planned visits (not in cases of complaints, which are not announced), the inspector informs the head of the enterprise in advance (1-3 days) as to the purpose of the visit. The labour Code provides the labour inspector with the discretionary power to visit an enterprise. However, Regulation No. 395 of 1 April 2003, currently applicable, prohibits control of a workplace more than once a year. Based on this provision, planned inspections are announced to the employers in advance.

Role of preventive measures

The use of a preventive culture as a labour inspection tool is not really applied, as opposed to levying sanctions. The present system is particularly weak in the task of promoting the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases, but this should take more importance with the coming into effect of the new OSH Law in January 2009.

Programming

Visits are performed in conformity with the central/territorial programme.

Information on occupational accidents is sent to the National Bureau of Statistics while data on occupational diseases is handled by the Ministry of Health. Data on occupational diseases is not directly communicated to the labour inspectorate. Information on the health status of workers is kept at the territorial level; there is no national register of individual cases. Only statistical data is available at the national level.

Successful planning depends on an up-to-date master register of establishments at the headquarters and in the field offices. At present, these do not exist. The list of establishments must be entered into this register and updated regularly, including all relevant details and information on previous inspections. There is an urgent need to develop a proper system to maintain and update this register at the various district offices.

The labour inspectorate is authorized to impose fines in cases of violation of the provisions of legislative acts and other normative acts on working conditions and employees’ protection. Labour inspectors have discretionary power to give warnings prior to the imposition of sanctions.

Trade unions are also empowered to conduct inspections. According to article 386(1) of the Labour Code, they have the right to carry out labour inspections on the basis of the corresponding provisions authorized by national or sectoral bodies (not yet promulgated). The Labour Code states that the labour inspection service should cooperate with other bodies, including trade unions, with the forms of cooperation established by agreement between the parties.

According to article 5 of the Labour Inspection Act, the labour inspectorate cooperates with trade unions; for this purpose, the labour inspectorate concludes a cooperation agreement with certain trade unions. Cooperation takes place in the form of joint inspections, joint investigations in cases of work-related accidents and following complaints and consultations on more effective observance of the labour legislation.

Moldova ratified Convention No. 81 in 1996 and Convention No. 129 in 1997.

To see the CEACR comments made to Moldova on Convention No. 81 click here: /ilolex/cgi-lex/pqconv.pl?host=status01&textbase=iloeng&chspec=30&hitdirection=1&hitstart=0&hitsrange=1500&highlight=&context=&query=(C081)+%40ref+%2B+(Moldova)+%40ref&chspec=5%2C6%2C7%2C10&chspec=8%2C9&query0=C081&query1=Moldova&query2=&year=&title=&query3=&submit=Submit+query

To see the CEACR comments made to Moldova on Convention No. 129 click here:

/ilolex/cgi-lex/pqconv.pl?host=status01&textbase=iloeng&chspec=30&hitdirection=1&hitstart=0&hitsrange=1500&highlight=&context=&query=(C129)+%40ref+%2B+(Moldova)+%40ref&chspec=5%2C6%2C7%2C10&chspec=8%2C9&query0=C129&query1=Moldova&query2=&year=&title=&query3=&submit=Submit+query