What is the purpose of State Department of Labour Inspection of Ministry of Labor and Social Security?
Dzmitry Kavalenkahas been struggling for receiving his wage from the company "Minski dom voknau" (“Minsk House of Windows”), where he had worked as a fitter for 3 years and 8 months, for five months already.
Since July 2014, the company has ceased to pay salaries to its employees, including Dzmitry Kavalenka. September 15 he wrote a letter of resignation due to repeated violations by the employer of Article 73 of the Labour Code specifying the duration and frequency of payment of salaries. After that, Dz. Kavalenka appealed to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection with a request for an inspectionat the JSC “Minsk House of Windows” and bringing the guilty to legal account.
He received a response, reading: “For appointing and holding an extra-schedule inspection by the Department of the abidance by the labour legislation the applicant must provide documents confirming the violations that were set out in the appeal (the employment order, the labour agrement, the timesheets, statements about the payment or transfer of wages to the card account) or provide written consent for testifying against such infringements. These conditions were not met by you and the inspection at the JSC “Minsk House of Windows” was not conducted.”
Having received no assistance from the state body, October 13, 2014 Dzmitry Kavalenkaappealed to a defense lawyer and filed a claim against the enterprise with the Zavodski District Court of Minsk. The court ruled for collecting from the defendant 39,126,102 Belarusian roubles in favour of the plaintiff. This sum included the unpaid wages for the period from July to September, compensation for an unused vacation leaf, severance pay, compensation for each day of delay for non-payment, as well as costs related to the lawyer's services. However, the enteprise didn't pay the money to Mr. Kavalenka even after the court verdict. The court marshals didn't didn't rush to help the worker who was left without job and money, either.
The worker didn't refuse from the idea that the state must somehow react to violations of workers' rights and appealed to the Department of the State Labour Inspection again. This time he filed the necessary documents and was ready to testify as a witness about the stated violations. The state body filed a written inquiry to “Minsk House of Windows”, asking to present the necessary documents for the full and complete consideration of the lawsuit. However, the employer didn't appear at the Department withing the specified term and didn't provide the documents. Strangely enough, such an attitude of the enterprise was taken for granted: the Department made no further attempts to meet with the employer. In its answer the Department also argues that the question of payment of the money was considered at the Zavodski District Court and therefore the execution of the judgment was in the competence of court marshals, whereas the Department is a body designed to supervise the observance of the labour legislation and its protection, which has no powers to supervise the precise and correct execution of court decisions.
Of course, the Department is right in its position regarding the supervision over the implementation of the implementation of the judicial decision. However, another question needs to be asked here: what the Department has really done in order to ensure the implementation of the law, which the plaintiff still demands from his employer? The service of enforced execution of court verdicts doesn't help him either: as stated by the court marshals, an arrest has been imposed on some expensive equipment of the enterprise. However, if the defendant fails to pay the money within ten days, a state assessment of the property is conducted and the property is sold. However, such assessment hasn't been conducted so far, though the debt to Mr. Kavalenka remains unpaid.
We should remind that Dzmitry Kavalenka is by far not the only worker who hasn't been paid the wages by “Minsk House of Windows”. The enterprise has been on the list of debtors in Minsk for several months already. About 150 people have filed a collective appeal to various state agencies. However, if it is considered like the one filed by Mr. Kavaelnka, the enterprise can safely continue using unpaid work...