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> GOVERNANCE - home > Employment protection legislation database - EPLex

Substantive requirements for dismissals


Algeria - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Not in the LRA.
    However such obligation is prescribed in the 2006 Collective Framework Agreement: the employer shall indicate the reasons for the dismissal during a preliminary interview with the employee and in the employment termination letter. (art. 65 and 66 CFA)


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): worker's conduct; worker's capacity; economic reasons
Remarks:
  • The LRA allows an employer to dismiss an employee in the following cases:
    - Art. 73 LC: disciplinary dismissal for serious misconduct (includes a list of acts which constitute serious misconduct)
    - Art. 69 LC: workforce reduction for economic reasons.

    The Collective Framework Agreements of 2006 provides for a list of valid grounds for dismissal, as follows (art. 61 CFA)
    - serious misconduct within the meaning of art. 73-1 LRA;
    - legitimate and serious reasons relating to the employee personally within the meaning of art. 73-5 LRA. [Note that art 73-5 LRA provides for the right to notice to any workers which did not commit any serious misconduct]
    - workforce reduction for economic reasons
    - total and permanent and incapacity to work within the meaning of the social security legislation.
    The terms and conditions of application of this provision shall be specified in collective agreements.


Prohibited grounds: trade union membership and activities
Remarks:
  • - Art. 53 of the Act No. 90-14 of 2 June 1990 on the exercise of the right to organise prohibits the dismissal (and any other disciplinary measures) of a trade union officer on the grounds of his/her trade union activities.
    - The LRA does not contain any provision forbidding the dismissal of a worker on certain discriminatory grounds.
    However, art 17 of the LRA prohibits any provision in an agreement, collective agreement or employment contract which gives rise to discrimination in employment, remuneration or working conditions on grounds of age, sex, social or marital situation, family relations, political convictions and membership or non-membership of a trade union.


Workers enjoying special protection: no protected groups
Remarks:
  • No statutory provision found in the legislation reviewed.


Angola - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • - Disciplinary dismissals:
    The reasons justifying the intended disciplinary action (including dismissals) must be stated in the prior interview notification (art. 50(2)a) GLA)l, then explained in detail during the interview (art. 51(1) GLA) and lastly be included in the written communication of the disciplinary dismissal to the employee (art. 52(2) GLA).

    - Economic dismissals:
    The reasons underlying economic individual (affecting less than 5 workers) and collective dismissals shall be provided in the notification to the worker's representatives (arts. 231(1) and 239(2) GLA)
    In the event of individual dismissal, copy of that notification shall be sent to the workers along with the notice of dismissal (for individual dismissals: see arts. 232(1) and 232 GLA, and for collective dismissals, see: arts. 239(1)).
    [In the event of collective dismissal, in the absence of an employees' representatives established body, the employer shall post a written notice to all workers informing them of the intended collective dismissal and the reasons for it and of the fact that they can set up a committee of 3 to 5 workers to represent them during the consultation process (art. 239(4) GLA)].


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 224 GLA: Just cause is required for individual dismissal. Just causes include serious disciplinary offenses or the objective causes which make it impossible to maintain the employment relationship.
    * Disciplinary reasons:
    Art. 225 GLA provides a list of just causes justifying disciplinary dismissal (e.g. unjustified absence from work, non-observance of the working hours, lack of punctuality, serious disobedience, verbal or physical violence against the employees, the employer or his/her representatives, severe indiscipline, repeated lack of compliance with the obligations incumbent to the worker, theft, robbery, embezzlement, fraud, revealing manufacturing secrets, causing damages deliberately or through gross negligence to the premises, equipment, bribery and corruption, intoxication or drug addiction, non-compliance with the safety and hygiene rules).
    *Objective reasons:
    Art. 230 GLA: dismissal can be justified by economic, technological and structural reasons involving internal reorganization, restructuring, reducing or closing down the business activity.


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities; performing military or civil service; language; family members at the same workplace; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • Art. 228(2) GLA provides for the nullity of any dismissal which is based on the following grounds:
    - political, ideological and religious views;
    - trade-union affiliation (and non-affiliation);
    - any other discriminatory grounds listed in arts. 3(1) and 20(2)b) GLA. Those include: race, colour, sex, ethnic origin, marital status, social condition, political or religious views, trade union membership, language, age, citizenship, family members at the workplace, careers, wages, duration and other conditions of work.
    - In addition, the law provides for a prohibition to dismiss a woman covered by the maternity protection (that is during the entire pregnancy and up to one year after delivery) unless she commits a disciplinary offence which makes it immediately and practically impossible to maintain the employment relationship (art. 272(1)d and 278 GLA).
    - Lastly, there is a presumption of unfair dismissal (rebuttable by the employer), when a dismissal takes place within 6 months:
    * after an employee's complaint regarding his/her working conditions or a violation of his/her rights,
    * after the refusal to follow illegal orders,
    * after the worker has exercised or intended to exercise any other rights conferred by statute.
    The dismissal of a worker, who has held or sought to hold office as a trade union representative or an employees' representative, is also presumed to be unfair when it takes place within 2 years after the completion of his/her term or after the selection process.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; workers with disabilities; war veterans; minors
Remarks:
  • Art. 227 provides for special protection against dismissal for the following categories of workers:
    - trade union leaders, trade union delegates or worker's representatives;
    - women covered by maternity protection (=during the entire period of pregnancy until 1 year after delivery (arts 272 and 278 GLA);
    - war veterans;
    - minors (art. 288 GLA);
    - workers with a limited occupational disability degree of 20% or above.
    Any disciplinary and economic (individual and collective) dismissal of the above-mentioned workers (except for trade union leaders, trade union delegates or worker's representatives) is subject to the authorization of the General Labour Inspectorate (see arts. 227(3), 233(3), 244(3), 278, 288 GLA). The law provides that a woman covered by the maternity protection has the right not to be dismissed unless she commits a disciplinary offence which makes it immediately and practically impossible to maintain the employment relationship and provided that the Labour inspector acknowledges that the offence is of such nature and grants authorization (art. 272(1)d) and (5) GLA)
    - Specific rules apply to the disciplinary dismissal of trade union leaders, trade union delegates or worker's representatives: mandatory notification to the trade union or the body they belong, presumption of unfair dismissal, higher compensation for unfair dismissal.



Botswana - 2018    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Sec. 11(10) of the Code of Good Practice on Termination of Employment provides that if the employee is dismissed, the employee must be given the reason for dismissal and notified of the right to refer a dispute concerning the wrongfulness of the dismissal to the Office of the Labour Commissioner.
    Although there is no general provision in the EA on the obligation to give the employee the reasons for dismissal, this obligation is implied from several provisions of the Code of Good Practices on Dismissal.
    See sec. 25(2)EA. when an employer forms an intention to terminate contracts of employment for the purpose of reducing the size of his work force, he shall forthwith give written notice of that intention to the Commissioner and to every employee to be or likely to be directly affected by the reduction.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Sec. 3(6.1) & (6.2) of the Code of Good Practice on Termination of Employment provides that in a contract for an unspecific period, a dismissal is not wrongful if it is effected for a fair reason and in accordance with fair procedure. There are normally only 3 recognised grounds of dismissal for a fair reason: misconduct, incapacity; including poor work performance or ill health or injury; and operational requirements.

    The Code of Good Practice further provides guidance on substantive considerations, which may be described as fair reasons, for the determination of whether an employee should be dismissed on the grounds of misconduct (sec. 6); incapacity due to poor work performance (sec 8) or ill health (sec. 9); and incompatibility (sec. 10).

    Sec. 26(4) of the EA provides that the term "serious misconduct"means: wilful disobedience of lawful and/or reasonable orders given by the employer; wilful, express or implied, misrepresentation by the employee in respect of his skills or qualifications; habitual or wilful neglect of duties; acts of theft, misappropriation or wilful dishonesty against the employer, another employee, or a customer or client of the employer; acts of violence; damage caused wilfully or by gross negligence to movable or immovable property of the employer; wilful disclosure of confidential information or trade secrets where such disclosure is or is likely to be detrimental to the interests of the employer; inability to carry out normal duties, due to the consumption of alcohol or habit-forming drugs; wilful refusal to obey or comply with any safety rules or practices for the prevention or control of accidents or diseases; consistent work performance below average despite at least two written warnings; offering or receiving bribes; persistent absence from work without permission provides that no contract of employment may be terminate arbitrarily, without due process and just cause.

    Sec. 14(1) of the Code of Good Practices on Discrimination provides that the security of the employment is one of the primary concerns of employees and no contract of employment may be terminated arbitrarily, without due process and without just cause.


Prohibited grounds: marital status; maternity leave; filing a complaint against the employer; race; colour; sex; political opinion; social origin; age; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; HIV status; fulfilling state duties; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • See sec. 23 of the EA. General prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of marital status; filing a complaint against the employer; race; colour; sex; political opinion; social origin; trade union membership and activities; fulfilling state duties; ethnic origin, age.

    Sec. 116 EA. Prohibition of serving notice of termination of contract of employment during maternity leave.

    Sec. 9(1) of the Code of Good Practice on HIV/AIDS provides that employees with HIV/AIDS may not be wrongfully dismissed solely on the basis of their HIV/AIDS status.

    Sec. 8 of the Code of Good Practice on Discrimination. Dismissals based on employees with disabilities is prohibited.




Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • Sec. 23(b) of the EA provides that an employer may not terminate the employment contract of an employee seeking office, as or acting or having acted in the capacity of an employees' representative;

    Sec. 116 EA. prohibits the dismissal of employees during maternity leave, and/or during leave of absence a longer period due to illness related to pregnancy or childbirth.


Burkina Faso - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. 65 LC


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 71 LC: A dismissal is "abusive" if it is effected without a legitimate reason.
    See also specific provisions on serious misconduct (art. 69 LC) and economic dismissals (art. 98 LC).


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; HIV status
Remarks:
  • Art. 4 and 71 LC.
    See also 286 LC on trade union representatives and 147 LC on women on maternity leave.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • Art. 314 LC
    Art. 147 LC: prohibition to dismiss women on maternity leave.


Cameroon - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. 34 (1) LC


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): none
Remarks:
  • Art. 34 LC: a contract of employment may be terminated at any time at the will of either party provided previous notice is given.
    This does not result in a total freedom of the employer to terminate the contract: it must be understood in light of the existence of prohibited grounds.

    The LC provides for specific regime for dismissal on the grounds of serious misconduct (art. 36 and 37 LC) and on economic grounds (art. 40 LC).


Prohibited grounds: pregnancy; maternity leave; political opinion; trade union membership and activities
Remarks:
  • The LC does not contain any general provision on non-discrimination.
    Art. 39 LC: Dismissal based on the opinions of the workers or his affiliation to a trade union are prohibited.
    Art. 84 LC: Pregnant women and women on maternity leave.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • Art. 40 (7) and 130 LC : prior authorization by the labour administration for the dismissal of a workers' representative.

    Art. 84 LC : prohibition of dismissal only during maternity leave and not during the whole period of pregnancy. However, pregnancy cannot justify dismissal.


Central African Republic - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: No
Remarks:
  • No such obligation expressly provided in the LC.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 144 LC: Any dismissal based on motives which are not real and justified ("réels et fondés") are null.
    Art. 152 LC: Dismissals carried out without a legitimate motive ("motif légitime") as well as dismissals based on the worker's opinions, his or her trade union activities or membership to a trade union are unfair ("abusifs").
    Art. 142 LC: Employees can be dismissed on economic or personal grounds (physical or professional incapacity or misconduct).


Prohibited grounds: maternity leave; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; religion; political opinion; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; performing military or civil service; participation in a lawful strike; HIV status
Remarks:
  • - No worker can be punished or be otherwise prejudiced in his/her career on the grounds his or her opinions as to politics, political, trade-unions or religion (Art. 9 LC).
    In addition constitute an unfair dismissal ("licenciement abusif"), any dismissal based on the employee's opinion, trade union activities and trade union membership or non-membership (Art. 152 LC).
    - It is not permitted to dismiss an employee on maternity leave (Art. 253 LC)
    - Any discrimination in employment on the basis of physical or mental disability is prohibited (Art. 266 LC).
    - Any dismissal based on the HIV/AIDS status of the employee is null and gives right to compensation (Art. 315 LC)
    - Dismissal based on the worker's participation in a lawful strike is void (Art. 378 LC).
    - On filing a complaint or participation in proceedings against the employer, see Art. 152 LC
    - Note that according to Art. 10 LC "the law ensures equal opportunities for everyone in employment without discrimination of any kind".

    In addition the LC provides that the employment contract is suspended in certain circumstances, such as:
    - the enterprise is temporarily closed down because the employer is performing compulsory military duties;
    - the worker is performing compulsory military duties;
    - absence of the employee as a consequence of a professional injury of disease;
    - absence of the worker not exceeding 6 months in the event of non-professional injury or disease.;
    - absence during maternity leave;
    - absence due to police custody or pre-trial detention;
    - the worker is absent because he or she is exercising a political mandate (Art. 133 LC).

    According to Art. 152 LC pertaining to "abusive terminations", it is unfair for the employer to refuse to reintegrate the employee upon the expiry of the suspension period.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; workers performing military/alternative service; workers on temporary leave following an occupational disease or a work injury; workers holding an elected position or discharging a public function
Remarks:
  • Art. 89 LC: Any dismissal of a workers' representative is subject to prior approval by the Labour Inspector.
    Art. 253 LC: An employee on maternity leave cannot be dismissed.

    The LC provides that the employment contract is suspended in certain circumstances, such as:
    - the enterprise is temporarily closed down because the employer is performing compulsory military duties;
    - the worker is performing compulsory military duties;
    - absence of the employee as a consequence of a professional injury of disease.
    - absence of the worker not exceeding 6 months in the event of non-professional injury or disease.
    - absence during maternity leave
    - absence due to police custody or pre-trial detention
    - the worker is absent because he or she is holding an elected position or discharging a public function (art.133 LC).
    According to art. 152 LC, on "abusive terminations", it is unfair for the employer to refuse to reintegrate the employee upon the expiry of the suspension period.


Comoros - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Article 48 of the Labour Code.



Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Article 43 of the Labour Code requires a valid reason connected with the capacity or conduct of the worker or based on the operational requirements of the undertaking, establishment or service.


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities; HIV status
Remarks:
  • Article 2 of the Labour Code: general prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, national or social origin including with respect to disciplinary measures and dismissal.

    Article 44 of the Labour Code (former art. 46) provides a list of reasons which cannot consitute valid reasons for termination:
    - trade-union membership or non-membership and trade-union activities;
    - race, colour, sex, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, religion or belief, political or philosophical opinion, nationality or social origin;
    - 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;
    - absence from work during maternity leave or temporary absence from work because of illness or injury;
    New in June 2012: Additional grounds have been introduced:
    - HIV status, whether real or perceived;
    - having reported or testified about sexual or psychological harassment (workplace bullying) by an employer or his representative.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • - Workers' representatives: article 203 of the Labour Code: any dismissal of a workers' representative must be approved by the Labour Tribunal. [New in June 2012: the article number has changed in the new LC (former art. 183, now art. 203), and the new LC introduced new provisions: the new LC provides that the court's decision must be made within a period of one month].
    - Women on maternity leave: article 125 of the Labour Code: no worker can be dismissed during maternity leave.
    - In addition, the LC establishes a special protection against dismissal for widows: article 125 (former art. 121) of the Labour Code : any woman who just lost her husband must suspend work for 4 months and 10 days and cannot be dismissed during this period.


Congo, Democratic Republic - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. 76 LC.
    Art. 62 LC as amended by Law No. 16/010 of 2016 provides that when the employer envisages a dismissal for reasons related to the worker's aptitude or conduct, the employer shall, before taking any decision, allow the worker to defend himself/herself or to explain himself/herself about alleged grounds for termination.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 62 LC: dismissal shall be based on fair reasons ("motifs valables") related to the worker's conduct, worker's capacity or operational requirements of the undertaking.


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities; HIV status
Remarks:
  • See Art. 62 LC on invalid grounds for dismissal.
    See also Art. 1 LC: general provision on non-discrimination and Art. 234 LC on trade union activities.

    On HIV status, see Act no 08/011, 14 July 2008 on the protection of persons living with HIV/AIDS and affected persons (Loi n° 08/011 du 14 juillet 2008 portant protection des droits des personnes vivant avec le VIH/SIDA et des personnes affectées available at: http://www.leganet.cd/Legislation/Droit%20Public/SANTE/L.08.011.14.07.2008.htm) : HIV/AIDS status cannot be a cause for terminating an employment contract (Art. 21).
    The 2016 Law No. 16/010 amending the Labour Code explicitly includes HIV/AIDS status in the list of prohibited grounds for termination (Art. 62 LC).


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • - Workers' representatives:
    Mandatory approval by the Labour Inspector is required for any dismissal of a workers' representative ( full or alternate member): see Art. 258 LC.
    In addition, if such approval is granted, the notice period is twice the statutory notice period and cannot be less than 3 months.

    - Pregnant women /women on maternity leave: no special protection for pregnant women during the entire period of pregnancy (other than the prohibition of dismissal on the ground of pregnancy). However, dismissal is "per se" prohibited during maternity leave: Art. 130 LC.


Côte d'Ivoire - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. 16.4 LC


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • * Art. 16.3 LC: any fair reason ("motif légitime")
    In addition see provisions on dismissal on economic grounds (art. 16.7 LC) and summary dismissal for serious misconduct (art. 16.6 LC).


Prohibited grounds: pregnancy; maternity leave; race; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; age; trade union membership and activities
Remarks:
  • Art. 4 LC
    Art. 23.3 and 23.5 LC


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • Art. 61.7 LC : prior authorization from the Labour Inspector required for the dismissal of worker's representatives.
    Art. 62.3 LC: prior authorization from the Labour Inspector required for the dismissal of trade union representatives.
    Art. 23.3 and 23.5 LC: prohibition to dismiss pregnant women and women on maternity leave.


Egypt - 2017    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: No
Remarks:
  • No express obligation to provide reasons for dismissing an employee.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): worker's conduct; worker's capacity; economic reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 110 LL: The employer may not terminate the employee's contract of indefinite duration except for reasons listed in art. 69 LL or in case of the incompetence of the employee according to the internal regulations of the employer. Art. 69 provides a list of reasons (9) considered to be serious misconduct and justifying summary dismissal. A worker is deemed to have committed a serious offence if he/she has:
    - assumed a false identity or submitted false documents;
    - acted negligently, causing the employer considerable loss, provided the employer informs the competent authorities of the incident within 24 hours of becoming aware of it;
    - despite having received a previous written warning, failed to observe written instructions displayed in a prominent place, compliance with which is necessary to ensure the safety of the workers and of the establishment;
    - been absent without a valid reason for more than 20 days a year, or for more than ten consecutive days, provided that the worker is first warned in writing by the employer after ten days' absence in the former case and after five days in the latter;
    - divulged professional secrets concerning the enterprise employing him/her, which caused serious damages to the enterprise;
    - been competing with the employer in the same field of activity;
    - been found in a state of obvious drunkenness or under the influence of drugs within working hours;
    - assaulted the employer or the employer's representative, or has committed a serious act of violence against any of his/her superiors during or in connection with his/her work;
    - not respected the rules on strikes prescribed by the LL.

    Art. 120 LL lists reasons which shall not be considered as "legitimate and adequate justifications for termination".
    Art. 122 LL regulates the right to compensation for "unjustified termination" (termination without a legitimate and adequate justification) by the employer.
    In addition, there are specific provisions authorizing termination of the contract by the employer in certain circumstances (termination in the event of the worker's total incapacity: art. 124 LL, termination due to the worker's illness provided that he or she has exhausted sick leave entitlement: art. 127, termination because the worker reaches the retirement age: art. 125 LL, termination in the event the of conviction to custodial sentences: art. 129 LL).
    In addition, the LL provides for a specific regime in the event terminations for economic reasons (art. 196 to 201 LL).


Prohibited grounds: pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; trade union membership and activities; lawfully taking leave
Remarks:
  • See art. 120 LL which provides a list of reasons that shall not be considered as legitimate and adequate justifications for termination.
    In addition, see art. 92 LL on the prohibition to dismiss an employee during maternity leave.
    According to art. 127 LL, termination of employment is not possible for reasons of the worker's illness, unless he/she has exhausted sick leave entitlement as determined by the Social Insurance Law, in addition to his/her annual leave. The employer has to notify the worker of the contemplated dismissal fifteen days before the end of the workers' leave entitlement.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; confirmed injured workers
Remarks:
  • - Not all the workers' representatives are protected. The Trade Unions Act No. 35/1976 (as amended) only protects members of the trade union boards from suspension or dismissal, except pursuant to a court decision (Art. 46).

    - The employer cannot dismiss a woman during maternity leave (Article 92, LL).

    - While the worker's total incapacity entails termination of the employment relationship; if the incapacity is partial, the employment relationship shall not be terminated unless it is demonstrated that there is no other available work which can be satisfactorily performed by the employee (art. 124 LL).


Ethiopia - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. 34 (1) LP.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): worker's conduct; worker's capacity; economic reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 26 (1) LP.
    The LP defines limited grounds relating to the worker's conduct for resorting to termination without notice (art. 27 (1) LP). In addition, the grounds for termination with notice (relating to the worker's capacity or operational requirements) are listed in article 28 (1) and (2) LP).


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • Art. 26 (2) LP.


Workers enjoying special protection: pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • Art. 87 (5) LP: Prohibition to dismiss women workers during pregnancy and maternity leave (up 4 months after childbirth) except in case of serious misconduct (summary dismissal) and as a "last resort" in case of economic dismissal.


Gabon - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • - Dismissal based on personal reasons: Art. 51 LC, as amended in 2010 by Order No. 018/PR/2010.
    - Economic dismissal (consultation procedure): Art. 59 LC.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 50 LC.


Prohibited grounds: pregnancy; maternity leave; filing a complaint against the employer; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities
Remarks:
  • Art. 8 LC on non-discrimination.
    Art. 74 LC on unfair dismissals.
    Art. 170 LC on pregnant women.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • Art. 294 and Art. 170 LC.


Ghana - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: No
Remarks:
  • No legal provision requiring justification to the employee.
    See however art. 63 (4) a) LA:
    "A termination may be unfair if the employer fails to prove that the reason for the termination is fair".


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): worker's conduct; worker's capacity; economic reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 62 LC: "A termination of a worker's employment is fair if the contract of employment is terminated by the employer on any of the following grounds:
    (a) that the worker is incompetent or lacks the qualification in relation to the work for which the worker is employed;
    (b) the proven misconduct of the worker;
    (c) redundancy under section 65;
    (d) due to legal restriction imposed on the worker prohibiting the worker from performing the work for which he or she is employed".


Prohibited grounds: pregnancy; maternity leave; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; financial status; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • Art. 63 LA.


Workers enjoying special protection: no protected groups

Lesotho - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. 69 (1) LC: "The employer shall provide a written statement of the reason for dismissal [...] to any employee who is dismissed. Such statement shall be given to the employee either before dismissal, at the time of dismissal or within four weeks of the dismissal having taken effect".

    "Where an employer has given no written statement in accordance with subsection, or if the material details of the statement are incorrect, the Court may (a) declare the reasons for the dismissal; and (b) award, in addition to other possible relief, two weeks' wages to the employee": art. 69 (5) LC.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 66 (1) LC: An employee shall not be dismissed, whether adequate notice is given or not, unless there is a valid reason for termination of employment, which reason is
    (a) connected with the capacity of the employee to do the work the employee is employed to do (including but not limited to an employee's fraudulent misrepresentation of having specific skills required for a skilled post);
    (b) connected with the conduct of the employee at the workplace; or
    (c) based on the operational requirements of the undertaking, establishment or service.


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities; lawfully taking leave; HIV status
Remarks:
  • Art. 66 (3) LC invalid reasons for terminating employment.
    In addition, see art. 5 LC : general article on non-discrimination.
    On HIV status, see: art. 235 G Labour Amendment Act 2006.
    See also art. 67 LC: "If the Labour Court is satisfied that an employer dismissed an employee in order to avoid liability for providing the employee with any benefit provided for under the Code, such dismissal shall be deemed unfair".


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • - Women on maternity leave, see art. 136 LC: prohibition of dismissal.
    - Worker's representatives, see code of good practices art. 11 (8) : specific discipline procedure (mandatory consultation with the trade union).


Madagascar - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. 21 LC.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 20 LC: Termination of employment is unfair if it is not justified by a legitimate reason, or a genuine and proper cause. ("La rupture est abusive lorsqu'elle est effectuée sans motif légitime, sans cause réelle et sérieuse".)


Prohibited grounds: pregnancy; maternity leave; filing a complaint against the employer; race; sex; religion; political opinion; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; HIV status; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • - Worker's opinion and trade union membership or activities: see art. 20 LC and 141 LC.
    - Pregnancy and maternity leave: see art. 95 and 97 LC.
    - HIV status: Act No. 2005-040 of 20 February 2006 concerning the fight against HIV/AIDS and the protection of the rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS. See art. 46 which provides that the serological status of a worker, her or his partner or close family members shall not constitute a direct or indirect cause for non-recruitment or termination of employment.
    - Disability: see art. 105 LC which contains a general prohibition of discrimination in employment on the basis of disability.
    - Art. 5 LC protects employees against retaliation (including dismissal) if they report sexual harassment or testify against the employer in sexual harassment cases.
    - In addition art. 261 LC provides that any discriminatory treatment based on race, religion, origin, sex, trade union affiliation as well as political opinion or membership in relation to access to employment and vocational training, conditions of employment and promotion, conditions of remuneration and dismissal, shall be punished with a fine or imprisonment.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • - Any dismissal of a workers' representative, a trade union officer or a member of the works council is subject to the authorization of the Labour Inspector (see Arts. 152, 156 and 165 LC).
    - As a general rule, pregnant women cannot be dismissed during pregnancy. However dismissal is possible if the pregnant employee commits malpractice which is not connected to her pregnancy: Art. 95 LC.
    - Dismissal is prohibited during maternity leave: Art. 97 LC.


Malawi - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • No explicit mention of an obligation to state the reasons for dismissal.
    However see the following provisions:
    * Art. 31 (1) (f) EA on the certificate of termination : The reasons for termination must be indicated in the certificate, if so requested by the employee;
    * Art 57 (2) EA: The employment cannot be terminated for reasons connected with the conduct or the capacity of the employee before the employee is given the opportunity to defend himself against the allegations made.

    * Art. 61 (1) EA: In any claim or complaint, the employer shall provide the reason for dismissal. If he or she fails to do so there shall be a presumption that the dismissal was unfair.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 57 (1) EA: "valid reason for termination connected with the capacity or conduct of the employee or based on the operational requirements of the undertaking".


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; language; participation in a lawful strike; property; birth; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • Art. 57 (3) EA: invalid reasons for dismissals.
    See also the general provision of non-discrimination (including in respect of termination of employment): art. 5 (1) EA.
    On pregnancy, see: art 49(1) EA: an employer who terminates the employment of an employee because of her pregnancy or for any reason connected with her pregnancy shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine and 5 years imprisonment.


Workers enjoying special protection: no protected groups

Morocco - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • * Dismissal based on the worker's conduct and the worker's capacity: Art. 62 LC
    * Dismissal based on economic grounds: Art. 66 LC (consultation procedure).


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 35 LC: Valid reason connected with the worker's conduct, capacity or operational requirements of the undertaking.
    Art. 38 LC : The employer shall apply disciplinary sanctions gradually. When disciplinary sanctions are exhausted within the year, the employer may proceed with the dismissal of the employee. In this case, the dismissal is considered justified.
    Art. 64 LC: A copy of the dismissal decision shall be addressed to the labour inspectorate officer. The decision to dismiss must include the reasons justifying the employee's dismissal.


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities; disabilities
Remarks:
  • Art. 9 and Art. 36 LC
    Art. 159 LC: pregnant women and women on maternity leave.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • Art. 58 LC: Severance pay is doubled for workers' representatives.
    Art. 457 LC: Approval by the labour administration is required in case of a disciplinary dismissal of a workers' representative.
    Art. 159 LC: Prohibition to dismiss women during pregnancy and women on maternity leave.


Namibia - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Sec. 30(3) LA: the reasons for termination must be indicated in the written notice of termination.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Sec. 33(1) EA: An employer must not, whether notice is given or not, dismiss an employee -
    (a) without a valid and fair reason; and
    (b) without following the procedures set by the LA in case of redundancy; or, subject to any code of good practice, a fair procedure, in any other case.


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; financial status; exercise of a right; HIV status; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • sec. 33 (2) LA lists the cases of unfair dismissals, which occur:
    - because the employee discloses information that he or she is entitled or required to disclose to another person;
    - for the reasons related to an employee's lawful trade union activities,
    - because of the exercise of any right conferred by the LA or the terms of the contract of employment; or
    - because the employee fails or refuses to do anything that an employer must not lawfully permit or require an employee to do.
    In addition constitute an unfair dismissal any dismissal based on: sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status, political opinion and marital status (sec. 33(3) LA)
    See also sec. 5(2) LA which forbids employer to discriminate employees in any decision, which includes termination, on account of family responsibilities, degree of physical or mental disability, AIDS or HIV status; or previous, current or future pregnancy (in addition to the above-mentioned grounds listed in sec. 33(3))
    The dismissal of an employee for disciplinary reasons in contravention of sec. 33 LA constitutes an unfair labour practice (sec. 48 LA).
    On maternity leave, see sec. 26(5) LA.


Workers enjoying special protection: pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • See sec. 26(5) LA: An employer must not dismiss an employee during her maternity leave or at the expiry of that leave on:
    - economic grounds (as listed in sec. 34 on collective dismissal)
    - any grounds arising from her pregnancy, delivery, or her resulting family status or responsibility.
    The prohibition does not apply if the employer has offered the employee comparable alternative employment; and she has unreasonably refused to accept that offer.


Niger - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • 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
Remarks:
  • 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
Remarks:
  • 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
Remarks:
  • * 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).


Nigeria - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: No
Remarks:
  • No statutory obligation to inform the worker of the grounds of termination.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): none
Remarks:
  • - Under Nigerian Law, employment contracts can be terminated at will. This principle of common law has been codified in sec. 11(1) of the LA which provides that: "(1) Either party to a contract of employment may terminate the contract on the expiration of notice given by him to the other party of his intention to do so".
    - The LA (sec. 11(5)) also expressly retains the common law right of an employer to summarily dismiss an employee for gross misconduct. In addition, the LA also the employer's ability to dismiss on the grounds of redundancy. 'Redundancy' is defined as "an involuntary and permanent loss of employment caused by an excess of manpower"(sec. 20 LA).
    It is worth noting that according to secondary sources, there have been developments in the case law which contrast with the principle of termination at will. See: Chioma Kanu Agomo, 'Part I. Individual Employment Relations' (August 2010), in Prof. Dr R. Blanpain, Prof. Dr M. Colucci (Eds.), International Encyclopaedia for Labour Law and Industrial Relations (Kluwer Law International BV, The Netherlands), p. 23, para. 272: According to sec. 7(4) of the National Industrial Court Act (2006), in exercising its jurisdiction or any powers conferred upon it by its Act or any other enactment or law, the Court is to consider 'good or international best practice in labour or industrial relations'.
    The National Industrial Court has used this provision in the area of termination of employment and stated in the Pengassan case, that " it is no longer fashionable in industrial relations law and practice to terminate an employment relationship without adducing any valid reason for such termination'.


Prohibited grounds: pregnancy; maternity leave; trade union membership and activities
Remarks:
  • - Sec. 9 (6) b) LA prohibits the dismissal of worker
    "(i) by reason of trade union membership, or
    (ii) because of trade union activities outside working hours or, with the consent of the employer, within working hours, or
    (iii) by reason of the fact that he has lost or been deprived of membership of a trade union or has refused or been unable to become, or for any other reason is not, a member of a trade union."
    - Sec. 54(4) LA prohibits the employer from giving a notice of dismissal to a woman during her maternity leave (6 weeks before the delivery of the child and 6 weeks after). This prohibition also apply to a women who is absent from her work for a longer period as a result of illness certified by a registered medical practitioner to arise out of her pregnancy or confinement and to render her unfit for work.




Workers enjoying special protection: pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • Sec. 54(4) LA prohibits the employer from giving a notice of dismissal to a woman during her maternity leave (6 weeks before the delivery of the child and 6 weeks after). This prohibition also apply to a women who is absent from her work for a longer period as a result of illness certified by a registered medical practitioner to arise out of her pregnancy or confinement and to render her unfit for work.


Rwanda - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art 30 LL: the written notification of the dismissal must specify the reasons for the dismissal.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 30 LL provides that an open-ended contract can always be terminated at the will of either party provided that there are legitimate motives for terminating the contract.
    See also art. 1(12) which defines unfair dismissal as "termination of employment contract by the employer without justifiable reason or observance of procedures established by law".


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; colour; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; financial status; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • The LL does not contain a list of prohibited grounds for dismissal.
    However, it contains a general prohibition of discrimination in work matter.
    Art. 12 LL prohibits direct or indirect discrimination aiming at denying workers the right to equal opportunity or equal treatment especially when the discrimination is
    based upon the following:
    1. Race, color, or origin;
    2. sex, marital status or family responsibilities;
    3. religion, beliefs or political opinions;
    4. social or economic conditions;
    5. country of origin;
    6. disability;
    7. previous, current or future pregnancy;
    8. any other type of discrimination.

    - Art. 114 LL prohibits an employer from relying on trade union membership or activities to take favourable or unfair decisions concerning a worker with regard to benefits and working conditions.

    - Art. 67 LL prohibits the employer from giving notice of dismissal during maternity leave.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; confirmed injured workers
Remarks:
  • - Women on maternity leave:
    Prohibition to dismiss a woman during maternity leave (art. 67 LL)

    - Workers' representatives:
    In case of an unlauful dismissal, workers' delegates and trade union representatives are entitled to higher compensation: a maximum of 9 months' pay (instead of 6 months' pay).

    - Injured workers declared unfit to work:
    Art. 100 LL: The employer shall notify the Labor Inspector prior to dismissing a worker dismissed due to an accident.

    It is also worth noting that in case of termination of the employment contract during paid leave or suspension period by the employer, the notice allowance is doubled (art. 31 LL).
    Reasons for the suspension of the employment contract are listed in art. 25 LL, as follows:
    1. absence from work due to a disease confirmed by a recognized medical doctor;
    2. worker's unavailability due to a work accident or a professional disease;
    3. maternity leave of a woman;
    4. a strike or lock-out which comply with the procedures regulating the labour collective dispute;
    5. worker's absence authorised by the employer by virtue of collective conventions or individual agreements between employer and worker;
    6. worker's lay-off;
    7. pre-trial detention of a worker for a period not exceeding six (6) months;
    8. training of the worker organized by a trade union to which he/she is entitled as per the modalities set by the law or collective conventions ;
    9. suspension of the enterprise's activity due to technical reasons;
    10. in case of force majeure or any other reason provided for by the law with the effect of preventing one of the parties from fulfilling its obligation.

    In Rwanda, there is no prohibition of termination of employment during the suspension period (except for maternity leave, see art. 67 LL), the employer is only required to pay twice the amount of the notice allowance.


Senegal - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. L50 LC


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • - Art. L56 LC: any fair reason
    In addition there are some provisions on termination for economic reasons (Art. L60 LC) and summary dismissal for serious misconduct (art. L54LC).


Prohibited grounds: maternity leave; race; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; trade union membership and activities
Remarks:
  • Art. L56 LC and 7 of the Inter-occupational Collective Agreement on the prohibition of dismissal on the basis of trade union activities and membership, and on the basis of the opinions of the worker.
    Art. L143 LC on the prohibition of dismissal during the suspension of the contract due to maternity leave (no reference to prohibition of dismissal on the basis of pregnancy)
    Art. L1 (2) LC on the general prohibition of discrimination on the basis of origin, race, sex and religion.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • Art. L214-217 LC: mandatory approval by the Labour Inspector prior to any dismissal of a workers' representative and specific remedies for wrongful dismissal.
    Art. L143 LC on the prohibition of dismissal during the suspension of the contract due to maternity leave (no reference to prohibition of dismissal on the basis of pregnancy)


South Africa - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Although there is no general provision in the LRA on the obligation to give the employee the reasons for dismissal, this obligation is implied from several provisions of this Act and in particular the Code of Good Practice on Dismissal contained in the schedule 8 to the LRA.
    The Code of Good Practice details the key aspects (including procedural requirements) of individual dismissals for reasons related to conduct and capacity (see valid grounds).
    * As far as misconduct is concerned, the Code stipulates that the employee has to be informed of the allegations against him or her and has to be given a chance to respond (where necessary, with the assistance of trade union or employees' representatives). If the employee is dismissed, he or she should be given the reasons for dismissal (art. 4 (1) and (4) Code of Good Practice).
    * With regard to incapacity /poor work performance, the obligation to provide reasons is not expressly stated in the Code. However, dismissal during the probationary period cannot take place before the employer has informed the employee that he or she fails to meet performance standards and the employee has had the opportunity to respond by making representations himself or through a trade union representative or fellow employee (sec. 8(1) of the Code).
    With regards to employees having completed the period of probation, the Code stipulates that the procedure leading to dismissal should include an investigation to establish the reasons for the unsatisfactory performance (sec. 8(2) of the Code).
    In the event of dismissal based on incapacity/ ill health or injury, the employer shall also conduct an investigation and allow the employee to state a case in response and to be assisted.
    * Lastly, for dismissals based on operational requirements, the reasons for dismissal are communicated to the employees through the compulsory process of consultation with the trade unions or the workplace forum (see art. 189 (1) and (3)a) LRA).

    In any case, the employer will have to explain the reasons for the dismissal before the competent authority in charge of deciding whether or not the reason for dismissal is a fair reasons (sec. 188 LRA, see "valid grounds")


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • "Any fair reasons" should be understood as meaning: "any fair reasons related to workers’ conduct, workers’ capacity, and economic reasons".

    Sec. 188 of the LRA stipulates that a dismissal is unfair where the employer fails to prove that the dismissal was effected for a fair reason connected with the employee's conduct or capacity or based on the employer's operational requirements. (see also sec. 2 of the Code of Good Practice, Schedule 8 to the LRA).
    The Code of Good practice which shall be considered by any competent authority assessing whether or not the dismissal is fair contains detailed provisions including guidelines on dismissals for misconduct, dismissals for poor work performance and dismissals arising from health injury.

    Please also note that a dismissal is also unfair if not effected in accordance with a fair procedure which includes taking account of the Code of Good Practice (see sec. 188 (2) LRA and the Code of Good Practice).


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; race; colour; sex; sexual orientation; religion; social origin; age; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; language; participation in a lawful strike; whistle blowing; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • The LRA provides that a dismissal is automatically unfair if the reason for the dismissal is one that amounts to an infringement of the fundamental rights of employees and trade unions (i.e trade union or workplace forum membership or activities), or if the reason is one of those listed in section 187. These are:
    * participation in, support to, or intention to support a lawful strike
    * the employee refused to do any work normally done by an employee who is participating in a lawful strike unless the work is necessary to prevent an actual danger to life, personal safety or health,
    * compelling an employee to accept a demand concerning a matter of mutual interest between the employer and employee;
    * the exercise of a right under the LRA, or participation in any labour proceedings;
    * pregnancy or maternity; or
    * unfair discrimination based on any arbitrary ground, including but not limited to race, gender, sex, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language, marital status or family responsibility unless the reason for dismissal is based on an inherent requirement of the particular job;
    * dismissal based on age, unless the employee has reached the normal or agreed retirement age for employees in that capacity;
    * a transfer, or a reason related to a transfer of contract of employment contemplated in section 197 or 197A LRA; or
    * a contravention of the Protected Disclosures Act, 2000, by the employer, on account of an employee having made a protected disclosure defined in that Act.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives
Remarks:
  • Protection only applicable to disciplinary dismissals:
    According to sec. 4(2) of the Code of Good Practice, disciplinary proceedings against a trade union representative should not be instituted without first informing and consulting the trade union.


Tanzania, United Republic of - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Article 41(3) ELRA


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 37 ELRA: employees may not be dismissed unfairly by an employer. Termination of employment is unfair if the employer fails to prove that the reason for the termination is valid, that the reason is fair and that the employment was terminated in accordance with fair procedure. A 'fair' reason is one that is related to the employee's conduct, capacity or compatibility; or is based on the operational requirements of the employer.


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; family responsibilities; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; age; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; exercise of a right; participation in a lawful strike; whistle blowing; HIV status; place of residence; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • Article 37(3) ELRA lists unfair grounds for dismissals: It is not seen to be fair to dismiss the employee if the employee discloses information that the employee is entitled to or required to disclose, fails or refuses to do anything that an employee may not lawfully permit or require the employee to do, exercises any right conferred by agreement, belongs to a trade union or participates in lawful activities of a trade union, including a lawful strike. It is also seen to be unfair to dismiss an employee for reasons related to pregnancy, disability or reasons that constitute discrimination under the Act.

    - Art. 7(4) ELRA prohibits discrimination against an employee in any employment policy or practice on any of the following grounds: colour; nationality, tribe or place of origin, race, national extraction, social origin, political opinion or religion, sex, gender, pregnancy, marital status or family responsibility, disability, HIV/aids, age or station of life. Harassment of an employee is considered to be a form of discrimination.


Workers enjoying special protection: pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • Article 37(3)(b) ELRA: It is also seen to be unfair to dismiss an employee for reasons related to pregnancy.
    In addition art. 41(4) ELRA provides that notice of termination shall not be given " (a) during any period of leave taken under this Act; or (b) to run concurrently with any such period of leave". This includes maternity leave ( 84 days min,. see art. 33 ELRA).

    [See also art. 36 ELRA: failure to allow the employee to resume work after taking maternity leave granted under the ELRA or any agreed maternity leave is considered to be termination of employment, and therefore, if unilaterally decided by the employer, the fair reason requirement shall apply]


Tunisia - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. 14ter LC.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 14ter LC: a dismissal is unfair ("abusif") if it is not justified by a genuine and serious reason.

    - One of the real and serious reasons for dismissal is serious misconduct. A list of serious misconduct able to justify dismissal is set out in art. 14quater of the LC. Serious misconduct includes, inter alia:
    * wilful damage to the property of the undertaking;
    * wilful reduction of the product volume or product quality;
    * non-observance of rules related to safety and health;
    * neglect of the duty to take necessary measures to assure personal security or to safeguard confidentiality;
    * disobedience of legitimate orders;
    * bribe-taking;
    * theft;
    * turning up for work in a state of intoxication;
    * consumption of alcohol at the workplace;
    * absence or desertion of the workplace without good cause or the employer's permission;
    * violence or threats against colleagues or other persons during working hours;
    * divulging trade secrets; and
    * refusal to lend assistance in case of imminent danger to the firm or persons at the workplace.
    - Dismissal may also be effected for economic and technological reasons (art. 21 LC).


Prohibited grounds: pregnancy; maternity leave; temporary work injury or illness; trade union membership and activities; performing military or civil service
Remarks:
  • - Art. 166 LC: specifical procedural rules apply to the dismissal of a workers' representative or a trade union representative.
    In order to dismiss those workers, the employer must follow a specific procedure (i.e. submitting the dismissal to the decision of the competent labour inspector and complying with his or her decision), except when the existence of a real and serious reason justifying dismissal is proved by a court which entertains jurisdiction (art. 166 LC and 169bis LC added by the Act No. 2007-19).
    - Art. 20(2) LC: An employer may not dismiss a woman on the grounds that she has suspended her work during the period before and after her confinement. If she is dismissed, the employer is liable to pay damages provided that she informed her employer of the reason for her absence. Notice of dismissal is prohibited up to a maximum of 12 weeks after maternity leave if the woman produces a medical certificate that she is incapable of returning to work because of an illness arising out of her pregnancy or confinement.
    -Art. 19 LC: performing military duties cannot be a cause of termination of employment.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; workers performing military/alternative service
Remarks:
  • - Art. 166 LC: specific procedural rules apply to the dismissal of a workers' representative or a trade union representative: the employer must submit the dismissal to the decision of the competent labour inspector and complying with his or her decision except when the existence of a real and serious reason justifying dismissal is proved by a court which entertains jurisdiction (art. 166 LC and 169bis LC added by the Act No. 2007-19).
    - Art. 20(2) LC: An employer may not dismiss a woman on the grounds that she has suspended her work during the period before and after her confinement. If she is dismissed, the employer is liable to pay damages provided that she informed her employer of the reason for her absence. Notice of dismissal is prohibited up to a maximum of 12 weeks after maternity leave if the woman produces a medical certificate that she is incapable of returning to work because of an illness arising out of her pregnancy or confinement.
    -Art. 19 LC: performing military duties cannot be a cause of termination of employment.


Uganda - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • If so requested by the employee, the reasons for termination may be indicated by the employer in the certificate of service which shall be delivered upon termination of the contract: art. 61 EA.

    In addition, according to art. 66 EA, the employer must conduct a preliminary hearing with the employee and another person of his or her choice before reaching a decision to dismiss that employee on the grounds of misconduct or poor performance. During, this hearing, the employer shall explain to the employee the reasons for which he or she is considering dismissing him or her.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • See art. 73 EA.
    A dismissal is unfair if
    1) it was made for prohibited reasons (see prohibited grounds) or
    2) it was not "just and equitable" for the employer to terminate the contract of the employee.
    In assessing whether termination was just and equitable, the labour officer shall consider: i) the code of discipline, ii) the procedure followed by the employer in reaching the decision, iii) the conduct and capability of the employee, iv) compliance with the statutory procedural requirements, v) the previous practice of the employer in dealing with similar circumstances.


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; trade union membership and activities; participation in a lawful strike; lawfully taking leave; HIV status
Remarks:
  • Art. 75 EA sets out a list of grounds which shall not constitute fair reasons for dismissal or for the imposition of a disciplinary penalty.
    On the organisation of and/or participation in a strike or other form of industrial action, see art. 76 EA.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives
Remarks:
  • Limited protection consisting in mandatory prior consultation of the union branch before initiating disciplinary proceedings and penalties involving dismissal against an employee who is a union member: art. 1 Disciplinary rules, § (6) of the Disciplinary Code, schedule 1 of the EA.


Zambia - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Employment (Amendment) Act of 2015 inserts in section 36(1)(c) on termination of employment the obligation to provide reasons to the employee. The section reads now: A written contract of service shall be terminated (c) in any other manner in which a contract of service may be lawfully terminated or deemed to be terminated whether under the provisions of this Act or otherwise except that where the termination is at the initiative of the employer, the employer shall give reasons to the employee for the termination of that employee’s employment”.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): worker's conduct; worker's capacity; economic reasons
Remarks:
  • - Termination of written contracts is regulated by sec. 36 EA, amended in 2015, which reads as follows: "(1) A written contract of service shall be terminated
    (a) by the expiry of the term for which it is expressed to be made; or
    (b) by the death of the employee before such expiry; or
    (c) in any other manner in which a contract of service may be lawfully terminated or deemed to be terminated whether under the provisions of this Act or otherwise.
    (2) Where owing to sickness or accident an employee is unable to fulfil a written contract of service, the contract may be.
    […] ” terminated on the report of a registered medical practitioner."
    (3) The contract of service of an employee shall not be terminated unless there is a valid reason for the termination connected with the capacity, conduct of the employee or based on the operational requirements of the undertaking


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; trade union membership and activities; lawfully taking leave; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • Section 36(4) EA, added by the 2015 Amendment, states: Reasons that are not valid for termination of contracts include
    (a) union membership or participation in union activities outside working hours or, with the consent of the employer, within working hours;
    (b) seeking office as, acting or having acted in the capacity of, an employee’s representatives;
    (c) the filing of a complaint, the participation in proceedings against an employer involving alleged violation of laws or recourse to administrative authorities;
    (d) race, colour, sex, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion or affiliation, ethnicity, tribal affiliation or social status of the employee; or
    (e)absence from work during leave or a rest period in accordance with a written law.

    See also:
    * Sec. 108 ILRA: The prohibited grounds for dismissal listed are race, sex, marital status, religion, political opinion or affiliation, tribal extraction or status of the employee.
    * On trade union activities and membership, and filing a complaint against the employer, see sec. 5 ILRA.
    * Dismissal based on pregnancy or maternity leave is prohibited in sec. 15B EA and clause 7(4) of both MWCEGO and MWCESO.
    * On temporary work injury or sickness, see sec. 54(1) LC.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; workers on temporary leave following an occupational disease or a work injury
Remarks:
  • "Workers' representatives" were added in the category of workers enjoying special protection in 2017.

    - The EA also provides for statutory sick leave with full pay and employment cannot be terminated on this ground during this leave period (sec. 54).
    - Sec. 15B EA prohibits termination of employment for reasons connected with pregnancy and establishes a presumption of violation of such prohibition (in the absence of proof to the contrary) if the employer terminates the contract of a female employee within six months after delivery.
    - Sec. 36(4)(b) EA prohibits the termination of an employment contract for an employee seeking office as, acting or having acted in the capacity of, an employee’s representatives.