New Services of the Labour Inspectorate’s Information Could Be Voluntary For Companies
The state is planning to develop an electronic solution for the Labour Inspectorate, which would help companies meet the occupational health and safety requirements in a more efficient manner and with less administrative burden. Feedback from the members of the Chamber revealed that smaller companies have the most to gain from the change, while the administrative burden of larger companies may increase.
According to the vision of the Ministry of Social Affairs, the state would create an account in the working environment self-service for each company, through which companies can communicate with the Labour Inspectorate and use different tools. For example, self-service of the Labour Inspectorate would give a company an overview of completion of various obligations related to the working environment, help to prepare a risk analysis and assign different occupational safety-related roles in the company.
Administrative burden might not be decreased for all companies
The developments of the Labour Inspectorate’s information system and amendments to the legal acts have a positive impact primarily on the companies who so far have no information system for managing their obligations related to the working environment. These companies are mainly smaller companies.
Many larger companies highlighted that they have their own information system that, at least partially, have the same functions as the created self-service environment and they do not see a great benefit in the changes. Rather, these companies are worried that their administrative burden or expenses may increase, because they will have to start submitting data twice – into their own information system and information system of the Labour Inspectorate. This problem would be alleviated by interfacing the information systems between each other, but that would mean, at least one-off development costs, the sum of which is not yet known.
The administrative burden of companies would also be decreased if the self-service environment would automatically communicate with other national information systems, e.g. the employment register. This is the proposal we made to the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Feedback from the members of the Chamber of Commerce revealed that using services related to the new self-service environment could be voluntary for companies. For example, if a company has its own database for the health checks of their employees, which also sends reminders, the state should not oblige a company to use the same service in self-service. Voluntary use of services helps to ensure that the changes do not increase costs and administrative burden for the companies who use their own systems today. Additionally, it was highlighted that the services of the self-service environment may not be suitable for all companies, regardless of the size and area of activity. In case of voluntary use of services each company could decide if the new solution meets the needs of the company, and if it is useful or not.
State wants to help entrepreneurs in preparing risk analysis
In order to simplify preparing of risk analysis, the state is planning to create a risk analysis tool into the self-service environment of the Labour Inspectorate by the year 2021. The aim of the tool is to enable companies to assess the risks of their working environment. The system offers companies potential solutions and an action plan for improving the working environment will be prepared. It would still be possible for employers to carry out risk analysis by using other methods and it would still be allowed to outsource the service of compiling a risk analysis.
Feedback from companies revealed that primarily smaller companies have a need for the risk analysis tool. At the same time, there were companies among the respondents who think it would be very difficult to develop a risk analysis tool that would be suitable for any company irrespective of the size and area of activity. The example of Tööbik was highlighted, which also helps to carry out the risk analysis, but which companies have not taken into use in large scale. Therefore, many companies emphasised that using the new risk analysis tool should not be mandatory for companies.
A provider of healthcare services proposed that the risk factors arising from the company’s risk analysis could be easily available through electronic solutions for occupational health doctors. In such case, compliance of health checks with the risk factors of working environment would be better ensured.
Health check decisions to become electronic
We expressed support to the amendment according to which, formalising, sending and managing of the decisions on health checks will become electronic. If the decisions on health checks are moved electronically and they are stored in the state’s information system, the obligation of companies to preserve the decisions of health checks for ten years after the end of employment relationship with the employee could be abolished.
State is planning to offer the possibility of electronic guidance of employees
A survey conducted among the members of the Chamber revealed that companies see the need for service that enables providing guidance to employees as the least prioritized. The companies highlighted that already now, employees can review guidelines uploaded to Tööbik and sign them digitally, but that solution does not function well. In many cases, electronic guidance of employees cannot be implemented due to the nature and processes of work, or employees do not have enough knowledge and skills for using the electronic information systems. Furthermore, it was mentioned that during guidance, employees must be given explanations and to ascertain that the employees understood everything, but an electronic environment does not favour fulfilment of such goal.
Amendments will enter into force the earliest in 2021
The draft for the amendments of the legal acts related to the working environment will be completed, according to the initial plan of the Ministry, during the first or second quarter of this year. According to the current plan, the amendments will enter into force the earliest at the beginning of the year 2021. By that time, some of the services of the self-service environment to be created will be completed.
Read about the planned amendments.
Contribute to the creation of the self-service for the working environment at: www.tooelu.ee/uus/