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Labour Inspection

Moldova: Trade unions succeed in obtaining amendments to labour inspection law

After years of negotiations, trade unions have obtained amendments to labour inspection law in Moldova. The new law will provide more protection to workers through increased occupational safety and health at work.

11 December 2020

Chișinău-(ACTRAV Info) A new law has been adopted by the Moldovan parliament that enhances the country’s functional labour inspection system. The new legislation comes after years of lobbying by the country’s trade unions.

When Moldova’s labour inspectorate was weakened through labour law amendments in 2012, the National Trade Union Confederation (CNSM) prepared for discussions with government, parliamentarians and others stakeholders. The 2012 law decentralized labour inspection, thereby reducing the role of the labour inspectorate. Unannounced labour inspections were no longer systematically carried out. For the trade unions, this posed a threat to health and safety at work and undermined the monitoring of both rights enforcement and labour relations.

CNSM engaged workers and the government at several levels. They developed concrete policy proposals to roll back the changes and campaigned in order to draw attention to the issue, mobilizing workers in Moldova and attracting international attention and support. Most importantly, they identified areas where the new law was not in line with international obligations under ratified ILO Conventions. In November 2020, their efforts finally paid off.

ILO supported the trade union through international seminars and national activities focusing on labour inspection and strengthening the union’s position.

Successful use of the ILO’s supervisory mechanisms

Moldova has ratified the ILO’s two main Conventions: Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81) concerning industry and trade, and Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129). CNSM reported their concern about labour inspection laws to the ILO’s Committee of Experts on the Application of ILO Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR). The Committee found that the 2012 laws did not fully comply with the two conventions. This enabled the trade unions to increase pressure on the government to ensure that national laws are in line with the two conventions.
Labour inspection plays an essential role in any labour administration system by ensuring compliance with the laws and regulations governing the world of work. A labour inspectorate is normally the main supervisory body which oversees the enforcement of legal provisions relating to workers’ rights and occupational health and safety. Labour inspection also provides information, advice and training aimed at helping workers and businesses to operate within the legal framework. For labour inspection to work effectively, inspectors must be able to carry out visits to workplaces without prior notice in order to guarantee adequate and effective supervision.

For more information, please contact:

Magnus Berge
ILO Specialist in Workers'Activities
Email: berge[at]ilo.org