Basics About Employment Law and Contracting in Ghana

Senyo Adjabeng / No Comments

BlogPost – 005-18

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Basics about Employment law and Contracting.

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Employment contracts regulate interactions between employees and employers in an employment relationship. Our Labour laws (LL) require that within 2 months of employment every permanent employee should be given a contract stating the particulars of conditions and terms of the contract. 

Contracts of employment may be in writing or may be verbal. An understanding between the parties resulting in quid pro quo (something for something) as in Pay for Labour service will normally constitute a binding employment contract whether in writing or not. It is the parties’ intentions that determine the contract.

Three basic types of contracts exist: permanent employment ( Continuous until 60 yrs) Casual Employment (seasonal and intermittent work for not more than six months) and temporary employment (project based with fixed duration). 

Contracts are negotiable and so when an employee is made an employment offer, they can negotiate the contract offer. 

There’s this notion that when workers work for six months and more…they are supposed to be made permanent. This is false at law. For temporary work which fails to specify duration, (open ended) when the employee works for more than six months…it is deemed at law that the employer intends for a continuous permanent contract and so holds that employees should then be treated as though they were permanent but not necessarily made permanent. 

Content of contracts of employment may include names of the parties, hours of work, remuneration and terms of payment, overtime payments if any, disputes resolution procedures, leave and rest periods and other absence from work, disciplinary processes and parties’ signatures. To tighten the contract, other terms may be added at the pleasure of the parties. 

Employment issues are regulated by the courts and the National Labour Commission. The Labour department and inspectorate also is required to inspect work premises to ensure compliance with the Labour laws. 

Finally, contracts can only be terminated with ‘cause’ on lawful grounds. Non-performance, misconduct, ill healtha and death of the worker may result in the fair termination of employment. Without lawful cause, termination will be deemed as unfair resulting in a claim for compensation by the terminated worker.

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