MALAWI:   EMPLOYMENT ACT, 2000                                                 MALAWI SDNP
The Labour  
and labour  
 8  (1) There shall be appointed in the public service an officer to be 
           designated as the Labour Commissioner (in this Act otherwise 
           referred to as the "Commissioner"), and other public officers 
           subordinate to him, who shall be responsible for the effective 
           administration and application of this Act. 

     (2) Without derogating from the generality of subsection (1), the 
           Commissioner shall be responsible for- 

           (a) inspecting places of work as often and as thoroughly as is 

           (b) supplying relevant technical information and advice to employers, 
                 employees and other persons on labour matters; 

            (c) making proposals for the periodic review of this Act; 

            (d) the making of such reports as he shall consider appropriate 
                  or as the Minister may require; and 

            (e) any other matter that shall require administration under this 

        (3) The Commissioner may, in writing, authorize any public officer 
              to exercise any or all of the powers of the Commissioner, 
              subject to such conditions, including territorial restrictions, as the 
              Commissioner may stipulate in the authorization. 

         (4) In the performance of his duties under this Act, the Commissioner 
               shall be subject to- 

              (a) the general and special directions of the Minister; and 

No. 19 of 1994               (b) for avoidance of doubt, the provisions of the Public Service 

         (5) This Act shall be enforced by labour officers, acting subject 
               to the direction of the Commissioner and, for that purpose, labour 
               officers shall have the powers set out in section 9. 

 Powers of  
 labour officers
  9.  (1) A labour officer- 
            (a) may, subject to paragraph (c), enter any workplace freely 
                 and without prior notice at any hour of the day or night; 

            (b) may, subject to paragraph (c), enter by day any premises 
                  which he reasonably believes to be a workplace; 

             (c) shall not enter the private home of an employer pursuant to 
                  paragraphs (a) and (b) except with the consent of the employer 
                  or under the authority of a warrant issued by a magistrate; 

             (d) may, in general, carry out any examination, test or enquiry 
                   which he considers necessary in order to satisfy himself that the 
                   provisions of this Act or any other law relating to the employment 
                   of persons are being strictly observed and, in particular, may- 

                  (i) interrogate, alone or in the presence of witnesses, the 
                      employer or the employees on any matter concerning the 
                      application of this Act and any other law relating to the 
                      employment of persons-, 

                 (ii) require the production of any records, books, registers or 
                      other documents, the keeping of which is prescribed by this 
                      Act or any other law relating to the employment of persons or 
                      conditions of work, in ensure that this Act and any 
                      other law relating to the employment of persons is being 
                       respected, and to copy such documents or take extracts 

                  (iii) enforce the posting of any notices required by this Act 
                        or any other law relating to the employment of persons; and 

                  (iv) take or remove, for purposes of analysis, samples of 
                        materials and substances used or handled, subject to the 
                        employer or the employer's representative being notified of 
                        any samples or substances taken or removed for this purpose; 

                  (e)  may require from employers and employees information as 
                        to the remuneration, hours and conditions of work; 

                  (f)  may inspect any record of accidents or occupational disease 
                        kept by the employer pursuant to the provisions of the 

 No. 21 of 1997                        Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare Act or any other law 
                        and require from an employer information as to the causes and 
                        circumstances relating to any accident or occupational disease 
                        that may have occurred on the employer's premises or in the 
                        course of employment; 

                  (g) may be accompanied by a member of the police force if he 
                        has reasonable cause to apprehend any serious obstruction 
                        in the execution of his duty; and 

                  (h) may take steps with a view to remedying defects observed 
                        in plant layout, installation or working methods which he 
                        reasonably believes constitute a threat to the health or safety 
                        of employees. 

            (2)  In order to enable a labour officer to take steps under subsection 
                  (1) (h), a labour officer shall have powers to make orders 

                  (a) such alteration to the plant installation or layout, to be carried 
                       out within a specified time limit, as may be necessary to secure 
                       compliance with the legal provisions relating to health or 
                       safety of employees; or 

                  (b) in the event of imminent danger executory force the 
                       employees, measures with immediate executory force

Labour Officer 
to notify 
employer of  
 his presence
10.  A Labour Officer shall, when on an inspection visit, notify the employer 
       or the employer's representative of his presence, unless the  labour 
       officer considers that such notification may be prejudicial to the 
       Performance of his duties. 
Free access and  
assistance  to a  
labour  officer
11. An employer shall- 

      (a) grant an employee every opportunity and necessary facilities for 
            communicating freely with a labour officer, and 

      (b) when so requested, afford every reasonable assistance to a 
            labour officer.

12. No employer shall inflict a disadvantage on an employee for anything 
      done by the employee in pursuance of the provisions of  this Part. 
13. (1) No labour officer shall, while in office or subsequently, reveal any 
            manufacturing or commercial secret or working process which 
            comes to his knowledge in the course of his duties. 
       (2) A labour officer shall treat as absolutely confidential the source of 
            any complaint bringing to his notice a contravention of  this Act and 
            shall not reveal to the employer or the employer's representative 
            that inspection was made in consequence of the receipt of a 
            complaint that a breach of this Act appeared to have been committed. 
Prohibition against 
conflict of  interest
14. A labour officer shall not have any interest, direct or indirect, in the 
      undertakings under his supervision. 
Assistance to  
15. In exercise of his powers, a Labour Officer shall take into account the size, 
      capitalization and degree of formality of the operation of undertakings 
      under his supervision and shall make all efforts to assist smaller and 
      informal enterprises in understanding  and complying with this Act 
      and any other law relating to the employment of persons. 
Reports  I.6. (1) A labour officer shall  within thirty days of conducting an inspection 
            submit to the Regional Labour Officer a report in  respect thereof. 

      (2) In addition to reports referred to in subsection (1), a labour 
            officer shall, on such intervals as may be determined by the 
            Commissioner but which intervals shall not be less than once a year, 
            submit periodic reports to the Regional Labour Officer. 
     (3) The Regional Labour Officer shall every three months transmit to the 
           Commissioner the reports submitted to him pursuant to subsections 
           (1) and (2). 

      (4) The reports referred to insubsections (1) and (2) shall be 
           drawn up in such manner and deal with such subjects as may be 
           determined by the Commissioner. 

  17.  (1) The Commissioner shall publish an annual general report on the 
               work of the inspection service. 
         (2) The annual report shall be published within a reasonable time 
               after the end of the year to which it relates and, in any case, within 
               twelve months after the end of the year. 

        (3) The annual general report shall be circulated to all registered 
              employee's organizations and employer's organizations. 

Content of  
the annual  
 18. The annual general report referred to in section 17 shall deal with all 
       subjects under the control of the Commissioner including- 
        (a) laws and regulations relevant to the work of the inspection 

        (b) staff of the labour inspection service; 

        (c) statistics of workplaces liable to inspection and the number 
             of workers employed therein; 

        (d) statistics of inspection visits; 

        (e) statistics of violations and penalties imposed in respect of  the 

        (f)  statistics of industrial accidents; and 

        (g) statistics of occupational diseases. 

Identity Card   19. Every Labour Officer shall be furnished by the Secretary 
       responsible for labour matters with an identity card and shall, if so 
       required in the course of exercising his duties under this Act, pro- 
       duce the card. 
etc of labour  
20. Any person who- 
       (a) wilfully obstructs a labour officer in the exercise of any of  the powers 
            conferred upon him by this Act; 

       (b) fails to comply with any lawful requirement or order of a 
            labour officer given or made under this Act; 

       (c) prevents or attempts to prevent any employee from being examined 
            under section 9 (1) (d); or 

       (d) fails to produce any book, register or other document upon being so 
            required under section 9 (1) (d), shall be guilty of an offence.