Do you disagree with the PIP protocol? Check your rights and appeal against the inspector's decision


The control of the National Labor Inspectorate always causes stress and anxiety for employers, as as a result of it, a fine of up to PLN 30,000 may be imposed. However, the controlling person does not always correctly interpret the events and situations found in the company. And it is up to his decision whether the employer will bear the financial consequences or not. It is worth knowing your rights and not accepting the control findings uncritically. See how you can appeal against PIP.

What does the National Labor Inspectorate do?

PIP is an institution established to supervise and control compliance with labor law, including provisions on:

  • health and safety rules,

  • employment relationship,

  • remuneration for work and other benefits resulting from the employment relationship,

  • work time,

  • holidays,

  • employees' rights related to parenthood,

  • employment of young people and people with disabilities.

In addition, PIP controls the legality of employment and compliance with obligations such as:

  • payment of contributions to the Labor Fund,

  • making an entry in the register of employment agencies for activities the running of which depends on obtaining an entry in this register.

The Labor Inspectorate also undertakes activities aimed at preventing and reducing hazards in the work environment. He examines the circumstances and causes of accidents at work or analyzes the causes of occupational diseases.

As you can see, the scope of activities undertaken by PIP is very wide. It also has specific powers to control and enforce labor law.

What are the powers of the National Labor Inspectorate's inspector?

Most often, the PIP inspector comes to the workplace or contacts by phone and arranges an inspection with the employer. It informs which documents should be prepared and what is the scope of the control. In workplaces where a trade union operates, before meeting with the employer, the inspecting person contacts the union management and informs about the intention to conduct the inspection, its scope and subject, and after its completion about the inspection results and decisions taken.

However, the announced inspection is not always the rule. In justified cases, the PIP inspector may conduct it at any time of the day or night.

In the course of the control procedure, the National Labor Inspectorate's inspector has the right, inter alia, to:

  • free access to the premises of the plant;

  • conducting visual inspections of facilities, rooms, workstations, machinery and equipment;

  • requests from persons employed now or in the past, as well as from persons performing work on the basis of other than employment relationship oral information on matters covered by the inspection;

  • demand all documents relating to the workplace, related to the conducted control;

  • requests for the submission of personal files and other documents related to the performance of work by employees, in particular attendance lists, working time schedules, payrolls, confirmation of transfers.

If, during the inspection, the inspector does not find any irregularities, which unfortunately almost never happens, he only prepares an official note, which should contain a brief description of the facts found during the inspection. However, if any irregularities are found, the inspector draws up an inspection report.

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What should the inspection report contain?

Formal requirements that should be included in the inspection report are specified in Art. 31 of the Act of 13 April 2007 on the National Labor Inspectorate. It should include, inter alia:

  • name of the controlled entity in full, address, REGON, NIP;

  • name and surname and position of the labor inspector;

  • name and surname of the person representing the controlled entity;

  • indication of the days when the inspection was carried out;

  • information on the implementation of previous PIP decisions and statements;

  • description of identified violations of law;

  • data of the persons IDed as well as the time, place and reason for the identification;

  • mention of making or not raising objections to the content of the report.

What can the employer do if he does not agree with the statements made in the protocol?

As many specialists emphasize, the inspection protocol presented for signature by the inspector should be thoroughly read. You shouldn't sign anything blindly, as inspectors often have their point of view on situations happening in the company, which may not necessarily match the actual state of affairs. It is known that it is in the interest of the auditor to detect as many irregularities as possible, because only such an audit is a success for him. The protocol then forms the basis for any further steps taken towards the employer.

After the inspection, the inspector may issue:

  • an order - which is an administrative decision and most often concerns breaches in the field of health and safety, but also the need to pay remuneration and other work-related benefits,

  • presentation - which is in the form of opinions, conclusions and recommendations for implementation. It may concern, for example, unplanned work more than five days a week in the work schedule.

Regardless of the above-mentioned legal measures, the inspector may impose a mandate on the employer. It usually amounts to PLN 1,000, but in subsequent inspections it must be higher and may amount to a maximum of PLN 30,000.

In order to avoid these unpleasant financial consequences, reservations should be made to the protocol while it is being drafted. This is done before signing the report, as signing it means acceptance of the inspector's statements mentioned therein.

Objections must be submitted in writing within 7 days from the date of presentation of the report. The inspector then must refer to them in writing, in which:

  • it may reject them in the event that the reservations are not justified;

  • it may also amend the content of the protocol or supplement part of it with motions that accept the objections.

It is important that the objections to the inspection are substantive, e.g. they indicate additional arguments and evidence that were not included in the protocol. You should not explain the irregularities found by the inspector or justify the deficiencies with the bad financial situation of the company, as it usually does not bring any effect.

After responding to the employer's objections, the inspector must meet him again in order to sign the protocol. Importantly, the refusal to sign it does not matter at this point, as it does not prevent the inspector from applying legal measures. It should be remembered to keep the 7-day deadline for lodging reservations, counted in calendar days from the day following the presentation of the report, because even the best reservations will be rejected if this deadline is not met.

The employer has 7 calendar days to submit objections from the date on which the labor inspector presented him with the inspection report.

This deadline is not long enough, as many employers point out. If it is exceeded, you can try to write an application for the reinstatement of the deadline, but the reason for this exceedance would indeed have to be very important to be considered.