Ghana Employment And Labour

a. The rules which govern labour/employment in Ghana
The relevant, applicable labour laws are found in the Constitution, the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), the Labour Regulations, 2007 (LI 1833), the Persons with Disability Act 2006 (Act 715), the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1987 (PNDCL 187), Factories Offices and Shops Act, 1970 (Act 328), The National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766), and the Internal Revenue Act, 2000 (Act 592). Sector-specific laws and regulations may also apply.

b. The Constitution
The Constitution provides the general legal framework for employment in Ghana. It guarantees every person the right to work under satisfactory, safe and healthy conditions, with the right to receive equal pay for equal work.
Employees are also guaranteed rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours, and periods of holidays (including public holidays) with pay. There is a right to form or join trade unions, and forced labour is prohibited.

c. Requirements for an Employment Contract
All employment contracts for a period of 6 months or more must be in writing. The rights and obligations of the parties must be expressed in clear terms. A written statement of the particulars of the contract of employment must be provided to the employee within 2 months of employment in a prescribed form. The statement of particulars must be signed by the employer and the employee.

d. Unionization
The Constitution also guarantees the right to freedom of association, which it defines to include the right of employees to form or join trade unions or other national or international associations, for the protection of their interests.
Employees may therefore join trade unions of their choice. There is no minimum or maximum threshold, and any number of employees may join or form a union at any time. The employer may however negotiate and agree on non-participation of union activities with employees whose duties fall under any of the following categories, namely:
• policy making,
• decision making,
• managerial,
• holding a position of trust,
• performing duties that are of highly confidential nature, or
• an agent of a shareholder of an undertaking.

e. Expatriate
Expatriate employees, consultants or agents require work permits. A work permit may be obtained within 4 weeks at an approximate cost of US$500 (about EUR365).
All expatriate employee contracts must be registered with the Internal Revenue division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
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f. Workmen’s Compensation
Employers are liable for personal injury sustained by a workman by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment. The compensation payable by an employer depends on the nature of injury sustained by the worker and the degree of incapacity resulting. Employers are not however liable to pay compensation where the accident causing the injury to the worker is attributable to the workman having been at the time thereof under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or in respect of any incapacity or death resulting from a deliberate self-injury. However, a worker acting in contravention of any statutory or other regulation relating to his employment, or acting without the instructions of his employer at the time the accident happens, is deemed to be acting in the course of his employment for the purposes of entitlement to compensation, provided the worker was acting for the purposes of and in connection with the employer’s business or trade.
Where a corporate employer goes into liquidation or receivership, or where the holder of a debenture secured by a floating charge goes into possession, the rights of the employer company as against any insurer of its liability is, by statute, transferred to and vested in any workman entitled to compensation; and that workman has the same rights and remedies, and is subject to the same liabilities under the policy, as the employer company.

g. Social Security and Pensions
Under the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) (“NPA”), there is a contributory three-tier pension scheme as follows:
i. A mandatory basic national social security scheme, (‘Tier 1′),
ii. A mandatory fully funded and privately managed occupational pension scheme (‘Tier 2′), and
iii. A voluntary fully funded and privately managed provident fund and personal pension scheme (‘Tier 3′).
The objects of the pension scheme are:
i. provide pension benefits to ensure retirement income security for employees,
ii. ensure that every employee receives retirement and related benefits as and when due, and
iii. establish a uniform set of rules, regulations and standards for the administration and payment of retirement and related benefits for employees.
With respect to Tiers 1 and 2, employers are obliged to deduct from the salary of all employees (the “Employees”) immediately at the end of the month, the employee’s contribution, equal to 5.5% of each employee’s salary for the period, whether the salary is actually paid to the employee or not.
Employers are obliged to pay for each month in respect of each employee, the employer’s contribution of 13% of each employee’s salary for each month. These contributions will be held in trust by the employer for and on behalf of each employee until remitted in accordance with the provisions of the NPA Act. The minimum contribution must be 18.5% (comprising 13.5% and 5% respectively) of the approved monthly equivalent of the national daily minimum wage.