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Ghana
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2013    

References
  • Labour Act [LA], Act No. 651 of 2003
    (in force since 31 March 2004)
    Date: 08 Oct 2003; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Labour Regulations, 2007 (L.I. 1833)
    (in force since 31 July 2007)
    Date: 28 May 2007 (view in NATLEX »)
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Workers' categories excluded: police; army; prison personnel; state security corps
Remarks:
  • *Art. 1 LA: army, police, security and intelligence agencies, prison personnel are excluded from the scope of application of the Labour Act.

    *Art. 66 LA: the provisions on termination of employment do not apply to workers engaged for specified period or specified work; workers on a probationary period; workers engaged on casual basis.

Types of employment contracts - 2013    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • No statutory maximum duration. The Labour Act refers to a "reasonable duration". Probationary period is generally provided in collective agreement

    *Art. 66 LA refers to workers serving a probation or qualifying period of employment of reasonable duration determined in advance.
    *Art. 98 d) LA : A collective agreement may include provisions on the period of probation and conditions on probation.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: No
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The Labour Act does not refer to any specific legal regime for the use of fixed-term contracts.
      Only temporary and casual employment are regulated by special provisions (art. 73 to 78 LA)

      (Note: Art. 78: "temporary worker" means a worker who is employed for a continuous period of not less than one month and is not a permanent worker or employed for a work that is seasonal in character; "casual worker" means a worker engaged on a work which is seasonal or intermittent and not for a continuous period of more than 6 months and whose remuneration is calculated on a daily basis".)
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • No statutory limitation found in the legislation reviewed.
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • No statutory limitation found in the legislation reviewed.

Notes / Remarks
The Labour Act does not refer to any specific legal regime for the use of fixed-term contract.
Only temporary and casual workers are regulated by special provisions (art. 73 to 78 LA)

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 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

Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2013    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks:
  • Art. 17(3) LA: Notice of termination must be in writing.

Notice period:
Remarks:
  • Art. 17 (1), (2) LA:
    * The notice period varies according to the length of the contract as follows:
    - 1 month's notice (or pay in lieu of notice) in the case of a contract of 3 years or more;
    - 2 weeks' notice (or pay in lieu of notice) in the case of a contract of less than 3 years;
    - 7 days' notice (or pay in lieu of notice) in the case of a contract from week to week.
    * A contract of employment determinable at the will of the party may be terminated at the close of anyday without notice.

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 17 (1) and 18 (4) LA.

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2013    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    No legal definition. The LA refers to "the introduction of major changes in production, programme, organization, structure or technology of an undertaking that are likely to entail terminations of employment of workers in the undertaking".

    Remarks:
    • Art. 65 LA. No reference to any number of employees concerned.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 65 (1) b) LA.

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 65 (1) a) LA: 3 months in advance.

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 65 (1) b) LA.

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): No

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 65 (1) b) LA: measures aiming at averting dismissals and mitigating their adverse effects such as finding alternative employment must be examined during consultation with the trade union.

    Priority rules for re-employment: No

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2013    

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    Notes / Remarks
    1) Individual dismissals (not based on economic reasons): no severance pay.
    2) Economic dismissals: redundancy payment subject to negotiation between the employer and the worker or the trade union concerned. (Art. 65 (4) LA)

    Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2013    

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 64 (2) c) LA.

    Reinstatement available: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 64 (2) a) LA.

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: No

    Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

    Remarks:
    • Art. 64 LA.
      The competent body is the National Labour Commission. It shall exercise adjudicating and dispute settement functions in complete independence (art. 138 LA). Moreover, in settling an industrial dispute, the Commission shall have the same enforcing powers as the High Court and enjoy the same priviledges and immunities in regard to its proceedings (art. 139 LA).

    Existing arbitration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Mediation: art. 154 LA.
      Arbitration: art. 157 LA.

    % of dismissals out of the total number of disputes: 51.7 %

    Remarks:
    • Figure for the year 2008.
      This figure includes:
      - Summary dismissals (21.2%)
      - Unfair terminations (23.9%)
      - Redundancy/lay-Off/ Severance pay (6.6%)

      Source: Annual Report of the National Labour Commission for the year 2008

    Source of additional information - 2013    

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    Links

    Former ILO termination of employment legislation digest - Ghana country profile (last updated in 2007) »

    National Labour Commission website »
    Labour legislation, arbitration awards and NLC annual reports available.