State Labor Service reprimands commissioners for avoiding exams
Subject of complaint: Commission of the General Administration of the Kyiv Oblast State Labor Service (SLS Commission)
Complaint in brief: On March 13, 2018, an educational center providing training and professional development for health and safety specialists turned to the BOC. Since August 2017, the Complainant could not finish the courses for his students, because members of Kyiv Oblast SLS examination commission several times failed to show up for exams or ignored the Complainant’s inquiries.
Over 15 years that it had been operating in Ukraine, the company had graduated thousands of students in technical specializations and proved itself a reliable training center with its own resources and facilities. The training process required the whole group took exams at the end of the term. According to law, the final assessment knowledge in these subjects is to be carried out by local SLS commissions. Without them, no one can take the exam and receive their certificate.
The Complainant’s problems began in August 2017. The local SLS commission experts began to systematically ignore the center’s requests. Altogether, 16 final assessments were disrupted because of their absence. This was a waste of time and nerves for students who were working adults. Indeed, failure to go through an assessment twice in a row meant losing their job. For companies where they worked, it threatened a stoppage in manufacturing processes as boilers and cargo lifting cranes were disconnected from the power units that these employees serviced.
The institution first complained to the Ministry of Social Policy, but the agency only confirmed that commission meeting venues were not regulated by law and there were no legal instruments of influence over commission members.
Actions taken: The Deputy Business Ombudsman and the BOC investigator met with the SLS and the Kyiv Oblast SLS General Administration officials to understand the essence of the complaint and hear the agency’s position. After the meeting, the BOC investigator wrote asking for a response to the facts stated by the Complainant. As it turned out, the Ministry of Social Policy had already instructed the SLS in March to conduct an internal investigation of the Kyiv Oblast office’s actions. Disciplinary proceedings against individual employees lasted until mid-May.
Result achieved: At the end of May, the SLS informed the Council that two employees of the institution had been reprimanded. The government agency promised to avoid further unjustified delays in knowledge assessments by the commission. In early June, the Complainant reported that the case had been successfully resolved.
Meanwhile, the Council brought the Complainant’s issue to the level of Ministry of Social Policy. The agency will consider a bill drafted by the SLS to resolve controversial issues in the procedure for testing health and safety specialists.