Dept of Labour warns of criminals masquerading as labour inspectors in KZN

The Department of Labour cautions employers, stakeholders and members of the public of criminals posing as labour inspectors who defraud unsuspecting employers.

The warning follows a complaint received by the Department that the criminals have been coercing employers to purchase products such as wall charts on the summary of the labour laws.

They are also alleged to have strong-armed employers into paying for the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) assessments or Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) levies into fictitious Department of Labour accounts.

Provincial Chief Inspector, Edward Khambula, has stressed that labour inspectors do not sell any product or service and are not allowed to collect money/cheques.

“If the employer is given a “DOL Account” and statement of what is owed; such an employer is advised to verify such details with the nearest office of the Department of Labour. The Inspectors of the Department are also carrying the inspectors’ cards with their photos, name and logo. Employers are encouraged to check such details when someone is claiming to be an inspector,” said Khambula.

He explained that inspections are normally done by prior notification not unless there are justifiable reasons that can be explained by an Inspector.

“Our inspectors are expected to interview at least two employees and a trade union representative as part of an inspection process and if there are areas of non compliance, the inspector will issue an appropriate notice. Inspectors do not collect any fines,” said Khambula.

If employers are in doubt or suspect something is amiss, they can phone their nearest office of the Department of Labour to verify (the contact numbers are available on the website www.labour.gov.za).

Employers and employees are cautioned never pay any money or any gift/s to an inspector for any services rendered. It is a criminal offence to offer or solicit any bribe to an inspector.

Anyone who detects such criminal activities should report these to the Department’s Fraud Hotline on Fraud@labour.gov.za or call 08600 22 194.

Alternatively, people can contact their nearest police station.

The Department is working with the police to ensure that these fraudsters are brought to justice.

Issued by: Lungelo Mkamba, Department of Labour Provincial Communications: KwaZulu-Natal 079 889 0719

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Lungelo Mkamba

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