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Workshop spotlights labour inspection


Bereng Mpaki

THE Ministry of Labour and Employment will hold a three-day workshop starting on Tuesday meant to strengthen the labour inspection system in the country.

The workshop, which will be held at Maseru AVANI, will bring together ministerial and other government agencies responsible for labour-related matters for deliberations on possible collaborations that reduce duplication of efforts.

According to the Ministry of Labour’s Chief Information Officer Malefetsane Nchaka, the workshop was part of a project jointly supported by the United States Department of Labour and the International Labour Organization the ministry is currently implementing.

The project, which started in 2016, is called “Strengthening Labour Inspections in Lesotho”. Ministries expected at the workshop include Health, Home Affairs, Works, Police, Trade and Industry among others as well as municipalities such as the Maseru City Council.

Mr Nchaka said employer and employee representatives were also expected to be at the workshop to complete the tripartite structure that labour issues are normally addressed under.

“Labour inspection is actually at the core of the ministry’s existence in order to ensure that there is compliance with labour laws,” Mr Nchaka told the Sunday Express.    

The ILO website indicates that labour inspection services in Lesotho began operations in 1986. The Labour Department has six sections, two of which have responsibilities over labour inspection: the Industrial Relations section and the Occupational Health and Safety section.

The Industrial Relations section in the headquarters is subdivided into three areas of operation, according to the industries serviced: Textile, Construction and Security.

Mr Nchaka said while there was no formal arrangement between different labour inspection authorities in the country, the workshop would explore the possibility of a memorandum of understanding among the stakeholders.

 “The workshop is meant to bring on board all government ministries and agencies which play direct or indirect role in inspecting workplaces in order to achieve a systemic approach to labour administration, to learn about their respective mandates the concerning labour market, to establish effective relationships and to create as well as develop collaboration strategies between them,” he said.

Lesotho has ratified International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No.81 in 2001, concerning Labour Inspection in Industry and Commerce. As a result, the Mountain Kingdom has an obligation to provide and maintain a system of labour inspection to secure compliance with legal provisions relating to conditions of work and the protection of workers in industrial and commercial workplaces.

 It also ratified ILO Convention No. 150 and Recommendation 158 (1978) concerning labour administration, which calls for co-ordination of all key players in labour administration.

The workshop will be officiated by the Ministry of Labour and Employment Principal Secretary Advocate Karabo Tlhoeli.


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