Ghana labour law on termination of appointment made simple

Ghana labour law on termination of appointment made simple

It is very unethical and unfortunate that some employers just wake up one morning and decide they shall not be served by so and so anymore. The government of Ghana takes very keen interest on citizens, specifically the work rights of its employed citizens. Ghana labour law on termination of appointment is very strict on how an employee should be called off. There is a set down procedure and consequences when it is not observed. Read on to get more on the Ghana labour laws.

labour act of ghana, ghana labour laws, contract act of ghana
Source: A Dr Daily

A country’s working population is its pride and the Ghana labour commission knows this too well. All Ghana labour laws are implemented by this National body in conjunction with the International Labor Organization laws (ILO). Ghana joined the organization in 1957.The labour Act NO 651 was last reviewed and updated in 2003. ILO conventions protect both the employer and employee, except the members of the disciplined forces.

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Since joining the International Labour Organization, Ghana has ratified 46 conventions some of these being Convention no 87 that gives employees freedom to join workers unions, Convention no 98 that allows workers to collective bargaining and convention number 100 and number 111 that call for equal treatment at the work place.

The labour act of Ghana basically provides for equal employment of all people, air terminations and promotions, good working conditions, air remuneration, safety at the work place, the set up of both public and private organizations and the legal existence of the Ghana labour commission. Read on and have the Ghana labour law on termination of appointment explained, alongside everything else you should know about Ghana labour laws.

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Ghana labour law on contract workers – What a contract entails

labour act of ghana, ghana labour laws, contract act of ghana
Source: Graphic

The contract act of Ghana is found in page numbers 73-78 of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651).According to section 12 of the Labour Act, for an employment agreement to be deemed official and legal in the Ghana labour laws, there has to be a written agreement that states every little detail agreed upon and they should be as listed in Schedule 1 to the Act. The details that must be captured in an employer’s contract agreement are the period the contract shall last, the amount to be paid, the working hours, arrangement on the leave and off days and any allowances that the employee is given. All the employee’s details are captured and the company’s policy is attached.Also, a guideline on sick offs, public holidays, overtime and other special days are given.

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This is with the exception of casual laborers and temporal workers .While the former are given daily tasks and daily pay or working periods as short as a week, Temporal workers sometimes work for longer periods but these opportunities are irregular. Most times they are called upon to help during peak office periods or when there is a specific ongoing activity that is causing a toll on the company’s current staff. When a temporary worker stays with the same employer continuously for six months or more, the Labour laws of Ghana recognize this person as a permanent employee of the organization in question.

Although temporal workers have no written contracts, pages 74-75 and schedule 1 of the labour Act 2003 state that they are entitled to the labour Act’s minimal. This means they too must have rest, overtime pay, paid public holidays and sick leaves.

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Labour laws of Ghana on probation period

The labor act of Ghana recognizes the probation period for the duration agreed upon by the employer and employee. Under Regulation 5 of Labour Regulations 2007, the contract act of Ghana refers to this period as a ‘’reasonable duration determined in advance.’’ Probation is the period given to a new employee to be monitored before they are fully absorbed into office.Usually; another contract is signed after the probation is over, stating the terms of permanent employment. Before someone starts working, the Job contract has to stipulate how long the probation shall last.

A contract has to be signed within the first two months a person is confirmed to permanent employment.

Once someone gets appointed and starts working, they definitely won’t be in that office forever. Thankfully, the labour act of Ghana is with you every step of the way as the employer that just lost a worker or as the employee that just lost their job.

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What is the Ghana labour law on termination of appointment? What guidelines does it lie down to be a standard measure and is there any way one can appeal when they feel they have been treated unfairly by the other party? Read on and find out.

Labour act of Ghana – On contract termination

labour act of ghana, ghana labour laws, contract act of ghana
Source: Gold Berg Devilliers

In the same way the contract act of Ghana lies down procedures on what is expected during appointment, the labour act of Ghana provides a guideline on what should happen in case of termination. These laws give the employee job security and the employers interests are protected too as one is not allowed to simply not show up when they decide to quit. They ensure a soft, peaceful transition. Let’s begin with the reasons that can make one get terminated.

Reasons that can lead to contract termination

According to the Ghana labour law on contract workers, a job agreement may be terminated if;

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  • The employee proves lack of qualification to perform what they were employed to do

In this case, the company has to prove with evidence that the employee cannot perform their tasks due to lack of the know-how

  • The company is controlling redundancy
  • The employee has been accused of continued misconduct as per the company policies
  • The employee passes away before their contract expires
  • The worker is proven to be medically or legally unfit for prescribed tasks

The medical report and a subsequent medical certificate is a must have in any food production industry

  • The employee gets sexually harassed in the course of their work
  • Both parties mutually agree to end the contract prematurely for their own reason

While it takes some employers more than four warning letters and a million verbal warnings to give a termination letter, others lay staff off for no reason at all or for the wrong reasons. You can consider yourself unfairly terminated if it is based on any of the following reason;

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  • Your disability – note that you are protected under section 50 of the Ghana labour laws
  • The religion or tribe you belong to. In other cases, the region you originate from
  • Your quest to join a trade union or become actively involved in your union’s activities
  • Absence from work due to pregnancy complications or maternity leaves to female workers. (Note that section 57(8) protects female workers on this).
  • Being ill thus incapacitated for a period of time
  • Not having the current education qualification deemed right for your type of work ,which makes it a different qualification from your time of employment
  • Refusal to step in for someone who missed work due to collective bargaining issues like participating in a lawful go slow

If at any time you feel that you were unfairly terminated, the Ghana labour laws allow you to take up an appeal with the Ghana labour commission. The commission looks into your case and if proved to have been unfair it either gets you re-instated or compensated well for damage. Even if you don’t get back to your previous job description, an alternative position is sought that requires the use of your knowledge and skills. Some people are lucky to get both re-instated and compensation, thanks to the labour commission.

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Labour act of Ghana –on the termination process

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Source: FK Mahia

Once reasons to terminate an employee have been ascertained, the termination proceeds with a notice first, or a pledge of pay in lieu of notice.

Giving notice or pay in lieu of notice

The Ghana labour laws demand that a terminated employee is given notice before the termination date is due. If the employer insists on immediate termination, then they must give pay in lieu of notice. This is referred to as severance pay and includes a month’s pay in addition to all other allowances that were due to this employer, leave and off days included.

The notice differs depending on how long the person in question has been the organizations employer. If one works for less than three months before termination, they are not entitled to any severance pay. Illustrated below is the minimum amount of time one needs to receive notice before termination as outlined in section 63 of the Ghana labour laws.


3 months but less than one year one week

One to two years two weeks

Up to 3 years three weeks

Up to 4 years four weeks

Up to 5 years five weeks

Up to 6 years six weeks

Up to 7 years seven weeks

8 years or more eight weeks

When the employer decides to pay in lieu notice so that the terminated person may exit immediately, the severance pay amount is calculated by; Getting a total of the employees weekly wages, dividing the sum by eight weeks and multiplying the result by the number of days the employer should get paid for at the moment. It is wise to know how these calculations are done, just in case you are the employee in question.

Note that if one resigns or voluntarily quits their job, no severance pay is made to them.

Also, the labour act of Ghana exempts ‘termination for just cause’ cases from having to receive notice. An example of such an occurrence is where an employee has been warned severally about misconduct and keeps on repeating it. In the event of serious breaches on the company policy like theft, one can also be dismissed without notice. The employer must however prove beyond doubt that this particular employee had received prior warnings and enough pardoning but refused to change or rise to the required standards.

In a scenario where termination is a mutual agreement between both parties, the employer does not have to give pay in lieu to notice. Everyone walks freely out of the contract. Some employees however come back to demand pay later, for malicious reasons. So it’s wise for the employer to give some form of compensation and have it in written form that it was settled.

Follow the link to find out more about contract termination and what it entails.

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Ghana labour law on resignation

Resignation is when an employee decides to voluntarily leave their current place of work to purse greener pastures or personal interests. It is allowed and provided for in the Ghana labour laws.

However, you must give your employer a notice before resigning. Otherwise it’s a contract breach on your side and the office may sue you for damages according to article 90 of the labor contract law, although it rarely happens.

No one should hold an employer forcefully from resignation, it’s their labour right.

Ghana labour commission - The implementer of the labour laws

labour act of ghana, ghana labour laws, contract act of ghana
Source: Sambianandco

Established legally under section 135 of the labour Act, The National Labour Commission does the onus of handling all issues related to the work population of Ghana. It settles disputes between employers, employees and also between employers and employees. The Ghana labour commission is governed by the NLC’s Regulations (2006), Legislative Instrument (LI) 1822 and the Labour Regulations (2007), LI 1833.

The commission consists of seven members as required under Section 136 of Act 651 .These are include a chairperson and six representatives; two from each from Government, two from the employers’ organization and two more from Organized Labour.

With a mission to ensure peaceful industrial relations, the labour committee keeps the labour industry of Ghana sane by ensuring each party involved is satisfied in their work. The link provides more information on this important commission.

Ghana labour law on termination of appointment and all other Ghana labour laws ensure the country’s productive group is working under optimum conditions by keeping both parties in check. The laws bring about order and peace in the process, as everything is clearly laid down and measures on how it shall be followed to the latter put into place. As everyone knows their place and what they are supposed to be doing, the Ghana economy keeps moving forward with every day better than the previous one.

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