« 100 Years – 100 Lives » | LESOTHO - “The training provided me with clarity on most of the issues that I took for granted as a veteran labour inspector”

An ILO project provided training for labour inspectors to improve their work but also to make inspections more relevant within the national context.

Feature | Lesotho | 15 August 2019
MASERU - While the act of labour inspection is often seen as a punitive activity, its value as a tool for developing a business and implementing decent work is overlooked or even misunderstood, sometimes, even by the inspectors themselves. It is with this positive and constructive understanding of labour inspection in mind that the ILO Pretoria Office implemented a project aimed at strengthening labour inspection in Lesotho.

The project focused on strengthening the entire labour inspection system with the objectives of improving the management and procedures, the methods to conducting inspection visits and improving partnerships and discussions with stakeholders to make the inspections more relevant within the Lesotho context.

The capacity-building activities and the collaborative development of tools and processes were singled out by the project beneficiaries as having had the greatest impact.

Learning new skills

Veteran labour inspector Limpho Ramoseeka welcomed the opportunity he was given.

« The programme has been very fulfilling in the sense that it has provided me with clarity on most of the issues that I took for granted since I deal with them on a daily basis. I have now learned new skills and knowledge on how to apply the labour law, the provision of all the labour law statutes that we are supposed to enforce as labour inspectors, » he said.

The project approach was characterized by two important implementation principles: collaboration and sustainability. From the very beginning of the programme, the ILO involved government, workers and employers’ representatives to participate in the identification of problems and how labour inspectors could develop appropriate responses.

Several workshops and meetings with representatives from government, workers and employers’ organizations fostered a dialogue and helped to develop a common understanding of the nature and role of labour inspection in developing the economy. Such collective actions clarified and demonstrated the value of labour inspection.
Sustainability was enhanced through refining management systems and reworking the labour inspection processes.

Capacity building is essential

It was also made clear that capacity building was key in developing the labour inspectorate and ensuring the sustainability. Through the interactive workshops and seminars, the labour inspectors’ knowledge and skills were developed to respond to the Lesotho environment.

Moreover, sustainability was ensured through the development of standardized tools to guide the inspection process.

For example, newly designed inspection forms were piloted in the country’s 10 districts, with 77 inspections using the improvement notice form, which replaced the former inspection report that the
inspectors had to type.

Positive feedback

Positive feedback was received from the labour inspectors on the improvement notice form; any non-compliances discovered during an inspection was recorded on the form and submitted to the employer during the inspection.

This system reduced the number of trips to the establishment for the delivery of a typed report and has addressed the lack of computers and printers which, according to the inspectors, had impacted the effectiveness of their work.

Thabang Eugene Moeketsi is another veteran labour inspector. He also praised the training that was provided:
« The experience I gained from the deliberations and presentations in the workshops is tremendous and it was an eye opener. We especially learnt about the application of the labour law taking into account the rights and freedoms of workers enshrined in the Constitution of Lesotho, » he concluded.

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