41 workplaces penalized and 315 told to improve from 2015-16

During the Question Hour session with the members of the National Council, the Minister of Labour and Human Resource, Ngeema Sangay Tshempo, said the Department of Labour is continuously inspecting workplaces to ensure compliance with the Labour and Employment Act, 2007 and that its regulations are followed.

The department also conducts regular awareness programs to sensitize employers and employees on their rights and obligations.

In 2015-2016, the department has inspected 1,908 workplaces, of which 315 workplaces were issued with the improvement notices and 41 were penalized for non compliance with the Labour and Employment Act, which shows that 274 have rectified and complied with the improvement notices issued.

In between 2015-2016, the ministry received 187 complaints related to working conditions and environment, thereafter, 315 improvement notices were issued, and penalties imposed on 41 private institutions.

Therefore, from the 1,908 workplaces inspected, 1,867 have complied with the Act and its regulations, which constitutes of 98 percent compliance.

To promote the occupational health and safety in workplaces, 55 Occupational Health and Safety Committees have been instituted, and from it, 26 committees meeting all the requirements have been awarded certificates.

In addition, 652 employees have been trained in first aid construction, industries, hotels and service sectors.

However, there are many constraints in implementing the Labour and Employment Act 2007 and its regulations.

Minister of Labour and Human Resource said, “Protection and safety is the recent idea.” Lyonpo said the safety gears, like hard hats and gloves, are not popular with workers.

Other constraints include low level of literacy among employers that results in lack of knowledge on the Act and regulations, lack of cooperation from the employers to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and employees not cooperating to use PPE, poor safety culture, no proper research on occupational safety and health, reluctance of employers in paying compensation on time and reluctance of employers to pay penalty imposed for non-compliance of Labor and Employment Act, Lyonpo said.

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