If you are a part of the world of work in Ghana, you should know that some laws have been set out on how employers, employees, trade unions and industries should interrelate. These laws are set out in The Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651). The following are some key areas you should take note of, to legally thrive in Ghana’s corporate world; Employee and employer rights and duties, employee contracts, working hours, leave, termination of employments, disability, salary, and redundancy. As is expected of any legal document, the Labour Act is extensive. Here, we will highlight some of the salient aspects to take note of.  

1.Rights of Employers and Employees; Rights are intended to be enforced in a lawful manner a. Employer’s Rights: they have a right to employ discipline, transfer, promote and terminate the employment of a worker. Also, they have a right to form policies, execute plans, and determine the type and prices of its goods and serves. b. Employee’s Rights: they have the right to work under safe and healthy conditions, to receive equal pay for equal work without distinction of any kind, to rest, to receive information relevant to their work, to have a reasonable limitation of working hours as well as remuneration for public holidays.

2. Duties of Employers and Employees; Their duties usually depend on the nature of work conducted by the company. Beyond that, these duties apply irrespective of industry.

a. Employers:

i. To provide and maintain safe and appropriate raw materials, equipment

ii. To pay the agreed salary/pay in the contract of employment or collective agreement or by custom without any deduction (except deduction permitted by law or agreed between the employer and the worker).

iii. To develop the capacity of workers by training and retraining and by providing them with necessary information;

b. Employees:

i. To report punctually and regularly for work;

ii. To working conscientiously in the lawfully chosen occupation;

iii.To enhance productivity and exercise due care in the execution of assigned work.

3. Employment Contract; Once your agreed employment period exceeds six months, it should be in writing and should clearly express the rights and obligations of both parties. Employers are prohibited from requiring an employee not to join or participate in trade union activities. Discriminating on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed, social or economic status, disability or politics is against the Labour Act.

4. Hours of Work; The hours of work are eight hours a day and forty hours a week. Where shorter or longer hours of work are fixed, the hours of work on the other days of the week should not exceed nine hours a day or a total of forty hours a week. Where the work is of a seasonal nature, it shall not exceed ten hours a day.

5. Overtime Work; An employee may not be required to do overtime work where there is no fixed rate of pay for overtime work. Generally, employees are not compelled to do overtime work.

Mull on these five provisions that the Labour Act 2004 (Act 651) makes available to every employee in the country. It is your duty to know your rights and responsibilities in order to fully enjoy them. Until the next edition, happy holidays!

By: Mrs. Efua Amewudah, Esq.