Labour inspectorate

The implementation of the provisions of the Employment Act (EmpA, SR 822.11) is partly incumbent upon the cantons and partly on the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Labour Directorate. To this effect, SECO has offices of the Federal Labour Inspectorate in Bern (ABEA). Their administrative decisions of the ABEA may be appealed to the Federal Administrative Court (FAC).

The duties of the Federal Labour Inspectorate include:

  • supervising implementation of provisions on workers’ protection by the cantons, in particular in the areas of health (EmpA) and safety (Accident Insurance Act, AIA, SR 832.20) at the workplace;
  • ensuring that implementation of these provisions is carried out in a coordinated and uniform way throughout Switzerland;
  • training cantonal inspectors and helping them to solve complex problems;
  • taking part, as a supervisory authority, in the approval procedure of plans and fitting out of work premises and thus fostering health protection and accident prevention;
  • advising employers, workers, specialists and other persons involved on health protection at the workplace;
  • publishing guidelines, leaflets, etc.

Implementation of the EmpA and AIA provisions is incumbent upon cantonal labour inspectorates, with the exception of the Federal Administration, federally-owned companies and companies that are subject to SUVA authority by virtue of the Accident Insurance Act (AIA, SR 832.20)

The tasks of the cantonal labour inspectorate include:

  • approving plans and granting authorisations to operate for industrial companies;
  • issuing guidelines and decisions;
  • visiting companies to verify compliance with provisions on:
    - health protection,
    - accident prevention,
    - working hours and rest period,
    - special protection of young workers, pregnant women and mothers who breastfeed.