State Labour Inspectorate – what is it?

In Poland, there is an institution that is in charge of checking whether employers comply with labour law. Such a body is the PIP, or the State Labour Inspectorate. Every employer should be aware that serious problems may arise for breaking the rules. What is the Labour Inspectorate? What can be reported to it? What does it inspect?

State Labour Inspectorate 2


What is PIP?

The PIP, or State Labour Inspectorate, is an institution that exercises control over labour law. According to the Act of 13 April 2007, the State Labour Inspectorate is “an authority established to supervise and control the observance of labour law, in particular the rules and principles of occupational safety and health, as well as the rules concerning the legality of employment and other gainful employment to the extent specified in the Act”.

According to the Act, the PIP is subordinate to the Sejm and is supervised by the Labour Protection Council.

The State Labour Inspectorate consists of:

  • Chief Labour Inspector
  • District Labour Inspectors
  • labour inspectors operating within the territorial jurisdiction of district labour inspectorates

Who is subject to inspection by the PIP?

The Labour Inspectorate can inspect:

  • employers and entrepreneurs who are not employers but for whom work is provided by individuals and self-employed persons,
  • entities providing job placement services, personal counselling, vocational counselling,
  • entities referring to various types of training such as: apprenticeship, graduate traineeship

Read also: Working illegally without a contract

What does the PIP – State Labour Inspectorate – control?

PIP inspects workplaces, employment agencies and checks in them:

  • up-to-date health and safety training,
  • medical examinations of employees,
  • compliance with legislation on the legality of employment,
  • employee entitlements,
  • adaptation of the premises in the workplace,
  • appropriate equipment for employees,
  • compliance with labour legislation,
  • correct use of civil law contracts,
  • accidents at work,
  • employment of disabled persons, young persons
  • checking employees’ files,
  • timeliness of payment of wages,
  • working time,
  • holidays,
  • legality of employment of foreigners.

What rights does the PIP have?

The Labour Inspectorate is entitled after an inspection to:

  • suspension of work or operations when there is an imminent risk to the life or health of workers,
  • stop the operation of machinery,
  • hold those guilty of violations criminally responsible,
  • prohibit activities,
  • order the testing of harmful factors,
  • order the employer to pay outstanding wages.
State Labour Inspectorate

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What does a PIP inspection look like?

The inspection takes place in the workplace and in related places, such as the place where employee documents are kept. It can take place at any time of the day or night. The PIP does not have to announce its arrival, but it often does. An inspection by the Labour Inspectorate usually takes place 7 to 30 days after its notice. If the information would affect the outcome of the inspection, the PIP carries it out immediately, without announcement. The inspector must confirm his identity. He has free access to the premises. He can talk to employees and former employees and demand statements on the legality of employment. After the inspection is over, the PIP must issue a post-inspection protocol, which must be completed by the inspector and the employer. Up to 7 days after receiving the protocol, the employer can appeal against it.

What penalties can the PIP impose on the workplace?

The Labour Inspectorate can impose fines of between PLN 1,000 and even PLN 30,000 on an employer for violations. It all depends on the type of violations committed.

Can the PIP – the State Labour Inspectorate – come unannounced?

The Labour Inspectorate may inspect a workplace as many times as it considers necessary. He can do so without notice and at any time of day. The labour inspector does not need a pass and can move around the premises without any problem. He is also exempt from personal searches, even if the workplace has such a subsection in the regulations. The employer does not have the possibility to refuse a PIP inspection. Instead, he has the right to demand to show his official ID card.

Is it possible to complain to the PIP anonymously?

If an employer violates the rights of employees, they can file a complaint with the State Labour Inspectorate. This complaint can be written by any employee. Unfortunately, reports to the PIP are not anonymous. However, the Labour Inspectorate does not reveal the identity of the workplace unless the employee agrees. The denunciation can be made by a former or current employee. Officials also come to those workplaces that have a high occupational risk factor.

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How many years back can the State Labour Inspectorate inspect?

The labour inspector has the right to demand the production of documents from 3 years. After 3 years, claims from the employment relationship are time-barred.

How to prepare for a PIP inspection?

An employer who has nothing to hide does not need to prepare for a PIP inspection. In order to come off well, it is a good idea to keep employee records in order. Check exact regulations, dates of health and safety training and medical examinations. Make sure there are no arrears in wages, holidays.

State Labour Inspectorate 3

How to make a complaint to the PIP?

A complaint to the State Labour Inspectorate can be made at any unit:

  • electronically, by means of an e-application or e-complaint,
  • in writing,
  • orally,
  • by fax

Every employee has the right to file a complaint against his or her employer. If the latter breaks the rules, it is impossible to communicate with him – it is worth making such a complaint. The employee can withdraw it at any time, but this does not mean the end of the control.

Complaint to PIP – specimen

Not sure how to write a complaint to the PIP? We provide a general template on how to write a complaint to the State Labour Inspectorate.

State Labour Inspectorate 4


The PIP is tasked with protecting workers from dishonest employers. It checks health and safety at work and whether employees are treated properly. Anyone working under an employment contract or a contract of mandate has the right to lodge a complaint. Employers must be aware that the Labour Inspectorate may impose heavy fines on them.

Read also: Conflicts at work – how to resolve them?

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