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Niger - Substantive requirements for dismissals

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - Niger - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
  • Article 79 LC: When the employer contemplates a dismissal for reasons related to the employee's conduct or his/her ability/capacity, the employer must, before taking any decision, offer to the interested party to defend himself/herself. In case of dispute, the court assesses, on the basis of the circumstances, including the size of the enterprise, the extent to which the employer has fulfilled this obligation.

    Dismissal on economic grounds: Need for substantiated written notification to the labour inspection (Article 84 LC).

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
  • Art. 78 LC: Valid reasons ("motifs légitimes") connected with the worker's conduct, capacity or operational requirements of the undertaking.

    [Note: the article number has changed in the new 2012 LC (former art. 71, now art. 78), but its content has remained unchanged]

Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; age; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; HIV status
  • See Art. 5 LC: general prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of sex, age, national origin, race, religion, colour, political or religious opinion, social origin, disability, trade union membership or non-membership, with respect to hiring, training, wages... disciplinary sanctions and termination of employment.
    New in Sept. 2012: New grounds were introduced in the 2012 LC: HIV-AIDS and sickle cell disease (drepanocytosis). In addition a new provision expressly provides that HIV-AIDS and sickle cell disease cannot, in any way, justify the dismissal of an affected worker (Art. 152 new LC).
    Art. 78 LC lists unfair reasons for dismissal, namely:
    - the above-mentioned prohibited grounds of discrimination (Art. 5 LC);
    - seeking office as, or acting or having acted in the capacity of, a workers' representative;
    - the filing of a complaint or the participation in proceedings against an employer involving alleged violation of laws or regulations or recourse to competent administrative authorities;
    - marital status, pregnancy, temporary absence from work because of illness or injury.
    Art. 111 LC: prohibition of dismissal during maternity leave (no reference to pregnancy).
    See also: Articles 472-475 of the Implementing Decree N° 2017-682/PRN/MET/PS of August 2017 concerning the dismissal of workers' representatives.

Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
  • * Workers' representatives: Art. 227-228 new LC: prior authorization of the labour inspectorate required before any dismissal of a workers' representative.
    New in Sept. 2012:
    The LC introduced new provisions to further protect workers' representatives. Any dismissal of a workers' representative carried out without the prior consent of the labour inspector or despite the application for authorization being rejected /dismissed is null and void and will therefore entail reinstatement of the worker. Under the previous LC reinstatement was not available in such cases.
    In addition, the new law establishes a time frame for the authorization procedure: 8 days for the labour inspector's decision after the filing of the application, extended to twenty one (21) days where expert evaluation is required.
    Lastly, the labour inspector's decision can be appealed before the Minister of Labour and then further before an administrative tribunal.
    Article 228 LC: Under certain conditions, this protection extends up to 6 months after the expiration of workers' representatives' mandate; the protection also applies to candidate workers' representatives (under certain conditions).
    * See also: Articles 472-475 of the Implementing Decree N° 2017-682/PRN/MET/PS of August 2017 concerning the dismissal of workers' representatives.

    * Pregnant women and women on maternity leave: No prohibition of dismissal during pregnancy, but only during maternity leave (14 weeks, incl. 8 weeks after giving birth) under Article 111 LC.
    Prohibition of dismissal during pregnancy is included under Article 78 LC (last point).