Labour Act, 2006 (XLII of 2006) [LA], as amended by Act No. 30 of 2013 Date: 31 Dec 2013 (view in NATLEX»)
Labour Rules of 2015, issued under sec. 351 of the Labour Act [Labour Rules] Date: 31 Dec 2015
Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: No
The LA distinguishes between several ways of termination of employment by the employer namely: 'dismissal' (for misconduct), 'discharge' (for incapacity), 'retrenchment' (for economic reasons) and 'termination' (without cause). Justification is only required in the first three instances (secs. 22, 23, 24, 26 LA) Therefore in cases other than misconduct, physical or mental incapacity, or economic dismissal, the employer is not required to provide any justification.
Valid grounds (justified dismissal): none
The LA distinguishes between several ways of termination of employment by the employer namely: - 'dismissal' : when the worker is found guilty of a misconduct or convicted for criminal offence: secs. 23 and 24 LA) - 'discharge from service' for reasons of physical or mental incapacity or continued ill-health certified by a registered medical practitioner (sec. 22 LA), - 'retrenchment' for economic reasons (sec. 21 LA) and - 'termination' without cause (sec. 26 LA). Therefore in cases other than misconduct, physical or mental incapacity, or economic reasons, the employer can lawfully terminate any employment contract without having to justify such termination by a valid reason provided that he/she complies with the statutory notice and severance pay requirements (sec. 26 LA).
Prohibited grounds: trade union membership and activities
No general list of prohibited grounds for discrimination of or dismissal in the LA. However, sec. 195(d) prohibits the dismissal, discharge, removal from employment or the threat to undertake such actions by reason that the worker is or proposes to become, or seeks to persuade any other person to become a member or officer of a trade union, or participates in the promotion, formation or activities of a trade union. Note also that sec. 228 LA prohibits the employer to discharge, dismiss or terminate the employment of a worker while proceedings connected to an industrial disputes are pending (before the labour jurisdictions or an arbitrator) except with the permission of that body and for reasons of misconduct not connected with such dispute. Furthermore, any discharge, dismissal or punishment for misconduct of a trade union officer while such proceedings are pending is prohibited, except with prior authorization from the Labour Court (sec. 228(2) LA).
Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives
- No real special protection for pregnant women or women on maternity leave against termination of employment. However, sec. 50 LA "Restriction on termination of employment of a woman in certain cases" provides that: "If any notice or order of discharge, dismissal, removal or termination of employment is given by an employer to a woman within a period of six month before and eight weeks after her delivery and such notice or order is given without sufficient cause, she will not be deprived of any maternity benefit to which she would have become entitled under this chapter."