Can I file a complaint with the inspectorate?

Labour inspectorates are safe places. Their primary task is to protect the rights of employees. That means your rights too! You can request information about your rights at any inspectorate. There are branches in all major cities that you can phone or visit anonymously to ask questions free of charge. Don’t be afraid to make use of these services, even if you have no legal residence!

It is always better to take a complaint about your employer to the inspectorate, than to the police. Labour inspectors know the laws surrounding labour. They will also help you without passing your name on to Immigration Services. The police are not specialised in employment rights, so they might not be able to help you. It is likely that the police will contact immigration services.

If you file a complaint and the complaint is serious enough and you are able to produce the necessary documentary evidence, the inspectorate will investigate your case. A complaint is always confidential unless you give permission for your name to be disclosed. Your name will otherwise not be disclosed. If you still want to obtain your salary however, you will need to give the inspectorate permission to mention your name when they contact your employer. It is possible that the inspectorate could catch you in the workplace. Read about what you can do about this here.

Anyone receiving financial support from the OCMW should know that if it is established that you are working off the books, it is likely your financial support will be stopped.

If, after the investigation, the inspectorate decides that the employer has broken the law, there are a number of possibilities:

  • The inspectorate may propose that the employer ‘remedy’ a violation and ask that they pay any unpaid wages.
  • The inspectorate may pass the case over to the courts.
  • If the court decides not to prosecute, the inspectorate may impose an administrative fine.

If the case goes to court and you want to obtain your wages from your employer, you will have to report yourself as an ‘injured party’. If the employer only receives a fine and you want to obtain your wages, you may take them to court. You’ll find more information here.