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Misdemeanour proceedings

The main functions of the Labour Inspectorate are the implementation of the working environment policy and the exercising of state supervision over compliance with legislation on occupational health, occupational safety, and labour relationships in working environments. As there is a risk of infringement or violation of legal rights (right to life, health, property, freedom) in working environments, the Labour Inspectorate has been granted the right to implement the state’s penal policy, i.e. to act as out-of-court proceedings authority for misdemeanours.

Misdemeanour proceedings are initiated if the employer’s actions or behaviour contain the elements of a misdemeanour.

Example: An employee finishes working at 22:00 and starts working again at 5:00 next morning. Pursuant to subsection 51 (1) of the Employment Contracts Act, an employee must receive at least 11 consecutive hours of rest in a 24-hour period. Therefore, the employer has violated the daily rest time requirement. If the required daily rest time is not provided, the Labour Inspectorate has the right to initiate misdemeanour proceedings against the employer on the basis of § 126 of the Employment Contracts Act and to impose a fine.

Rights and obligations of a party to proceedings

In misdemeanour proceedings, the party to the proceedings is the person subject to proceedings and their defence counsel. A person subject to proceedings may be a natural or legal person against whom the Labour Inspectorate has initiated misdemeanor proceedings. The rights and obligations of persons subject to proceedings are laid down in § 19 of the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure.

 

Expedited procedure

  • The facts relating to the commission of the misdemeanour are clear.
  • The person consents to the expedited procedure.
  • The person has been notified of their rights and obligations under § 19 of the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure.
  • No misdemeanour investigation report will be drawn up.
  • The person gives a statement concerning the commission of the misdemeanour (NB! If the person refuses give a statement, the regular procedure will be applied).
  • Disposition of out-of-court proceedings authority (sanctioning decision).
  • A fine of up to 200 fine units may be imposed if the person is a natural person; a fine of up to 13,000 euros may be imposed if the person is a legal person. 1 fine unit equals 4 euros (subsection 47 (1) of the Penal Code).

Regular procedure

  • The facts relating to the commission of the misdemeanour are not clear.
  • The person does not consent to the expedited procedure.
  • The person has been notified of their rights and obligations under § 19 of the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure.
  • A misdemeanour investigation report will be drawn up.
  • The person has the right to file an objection within 15 days after receipt of the misdemeanour investigation report.
  • Disposition of out-of-court proceedings authority (sanctioning decision or order to terminate proceedings).
  • Fine imposed on the natural or legal person in accordance with the rates provided for in the specific act. 1 fine unit equals 4 euros (subsection 47 (1) of the Penal Code).

 

 

Payment of imposed fines

A fine imposed by a decision of the Labour Inspectorate in misdemeanour proceedings must be paid in full by the party to the proceedings within 15 days from receipt of the decision if made under expedited procedure or, if made under regular procedure, of the date of the decision becoming available to the party to the proceedings at the offices of the Labour Inspectorate.

 

Contestation

A party to the proceedings may file an appeal with the county court against a decision made under regular procedure within 15 calendar days from the date of the decision of the out-of-court proceedings authority becoming available to the party at the offices of the out-of-court proceedings authority. A decision made under regular procedure will enter into force on the 16th calendar day after acknowledgement of receipt of the decision by signature, unless an appeal has been filed against the decision with the county court.

The term for filing an appeal against a decision made under expedited procedure is 15 calendar days after receipt of the decision. A decision made under expedited procedure will enter into force on the 16th day after acknowledgement of receipt of the decision by signature, unless an appeal has been filed against the decision with the county court.