The following are the powers of the Labour Officer as proscribed by Section 35 of the Labour Institutions Act:

  • To require the production of wage sheets or other employment records kept by an employer, and records of payments made to outworkers by persons giving out work, and any other such records as are required by any labour law or wages order to be kept by employers, and to inspect and examine those sheets or records and copy any material part thereof;
  • To require any person giving out work and any out-worker to give any information which is in that person’s power to give with respect to the names and addresses of the persons to whom the work is given or from whom the work is received and with respect to the payments to be made for the work;
  • To inspect and copy any material part of any list of outworkers kept by an employer or other person giving out work to outworkers; and
  • To examine, either alone or in the presence of any other person, with respect to any matter under Part VI of the Act, any person whom the labour officer has reasonable cause to believe to be or to have been an employee to whom a wages order applies or applied or the employer of any such person or a servant or agent of the employer employed in the employer’s business, and to require every such person to be so examined and to sign a declaration of the truth of the matters in respect of which he is so examined: Provided that no person shall be required to give any information that incriminates him;
  • At all reasonable times, enter, inspect and examine any land or building, other structure, whether permanent or temporary on or in which the labour officer has reasonable ground to believe that an employee is residing or is employed, and may make such inquiry, inspection or examination as may be necessary to enable the labour officer to determine whether the provisions of the Act or any other labour law are being complied with;
  • At all reasonable times, require an employer to produce an employee employed by him and a document relating to the employment of any employee, and may require an employee to produce any document relating to the employee’s employment;
  • To examine and make copies of a register, record, book or other document relating or appearing to relate to employment, and seize any register, record, book or other document which he has reasonable ground to believe to be or to contain evidence of an offence under the Act or any other labour law;
  • To enter, inspect and examine all latrines and other sanitary arrangement or water supply;
  • To inspect and examine all food provided or appearing to be provided for the employees, and take samples thereof in duplicate, in the presence of the employer or the employers representative which samples shall be sealed and one sample so sealed shall be left with the employer;
  • To order that all buildings and premises where employees are housed or employed be kept in a clean and sanitary condition;
  • To institute proceedings in respect of any contravention of any provision of the Act or for any offence committed by an employer under the Act or any other labour law;
  • To institute an appeal on behalf of any employee in any civil proceedings by an employee against his employer in respect of any matter, thing or cause of action arising out of or in the course of the employment, whether such civil proceedings are contemplated or instituted by the employee himself or are civil proceedings ordered by a magistrate;
  • To take into custody and return to his parent or guardian, or other person whom he is satisfied has for the time being the charge of or control over him, any child whom he reasonably suspects to be employed in contravention of any of the provisions of the law relating to employment.

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