Bogus labour inspectors target unsuspecting employers at workplaces

Gauteng is seeing an increase in illegal inspectors who are scamming employers.

The Department of Labour and Employment says employers should guard against falling victim to fake labour inspectors who charge money for conducting illegal inspections at workplaces.

Gauteng labour department spokesperson Mishack Magakwe says the province has seen an increase in the number of people who are impersonating labour inspectors and CCMA [Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration] officials, and swindling money from unsuspecting employers.

“Employers are advised not to pay for services provided by con artists posing as labour inspectors or CCMA officials,” says Magakwe, who says the fake inspectors force employers to pay a fine after conducting illegal inspections.

“The department emphasises that none of the services provided by its inspectors requires payment to them or their bank accounts,” Magakwe says.

He urges employers to be extra cautious and report any suspicious visits or requests to the police or the labour department’s closest offices. “If employers are unsure about the inspector visiting their premises, they can check the credentials with the department’s office nearest to them.”

Magakwe adds that an immediate spot fine is not one of the procedures that must be followed after labour inspectors discover non-compliance with labour laws.“To avoid becoming a victim of a con artist posing as a labour inspector, the department advises you to remember the following: Genuine inspectors are easily identified by their inspector identification card, which bears the departmental logo, and [their] trademark uniforms.

“These are created prior to the inspection. Never deposit money into the bank account of anyone, even if they are a legitimate labour official. Do not agree to do favours for the person inspecting in exchange for a more favourable inspection result,” warns Magakwe.