Improving Labor Law Compliance in the Kingdom of Lesotho

Project Duration:
December 2015
December 2017
Funding and Year:

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The Problem

The Ministry of Labor and Employment is one of the most resource poor agencies in the Government of Lesotho. The Ministry’s labor inspectorate does not have enough inspectors (there are currently 31 general labor inspectors and seven occupational safety and health inspectors). Equipment and transportation resources are also scarce, making factory inspection visits difficult and thus infrequent. The Ministry of Labor and Employment also experiences challenges related to recruiting, selecting, developing, and retaining highly-skilled staff, including labor inspectors. Incentives for persuading job candidates to accept positions are so poor that some existing labor inspectorate posts are filled on the basis of temporary contracts or go unfilled. Additionally, the job training is insufficient to support professional development. Training materials are outdated and inadequate to support a training program consistent with ILO Convention No.81 on Labor Inspection, which Lesotho has ratified. As a result, most of Lesotho’s labor inspectors are ill equipped to recognize labor law violations and take appropriate action. In addition, the Government of Lesotho has identified a number of systems and management challenges that negatively impact the effectiveness of the labor inspectorate. Tools for preparing, conducting, and following up on inspection visits, such as manuals, guidelines, protocols, and checklists, are outdated and do not cover all of the core labor standards . 

The labor inspectorate’s low capacity results in a struggle to meet its mandate in many ways. The low number of inspectors limits the number of inspections that can be conducted. The labor inspectorate is unable to provide training to workers and employers on labor law awareness raising, enforcement, and remediation. Labor inspection data are not analyzed to target future inspections, and results are not shared across the Ministry. 

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Our Strategy

The project will increase labor law compliance by:

  • Improving management of the labor inspectorate and systems for management and service delivery.
  • Improving technical and management skills of the labor inspectorate’s managers and inspectors.
  • Creating a sustainable training program for new labor inspectors. 

The project strategy includes efforts to:

  • Conduct an organizational management assessment to identify human and financial resource needs.
  • Aid in the development of new and effective inspection strategies.
  • Aid in the development of a new and effective recruitment and retention plan for labor inspectors.
  • Aid in the development of a new and sustainable training model for existing and new labor inspectors.
Grantee: International Labor Organization (ILO)
Contact Information:
(202) 693-4900
Office of Trade and Labor Affairs (OTLA)