QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ON EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS

EMPLOYMENT RELATED ISSUES

QUESTIONS And ANSWERS
What are the different ways in which employment relations may end ?
Under What Circumstances can an employee be declared Redundant?
What is an Employment Contract?
What details should be contained in the employment contract?.
Where the contract of employment is not in writing, is it obligatory for the employer to provide a copy of the contract to his employee?
What are the benefits of the Contract?
Does an employee have to sign an employment contract, if he/she does not understand it?
In what circumstances does attestation not apply?
What happens when one party breaches the Contract?
What happens if an employer terminates an employment contract without giving notice?
What is the Minimum Wage?
What are the basic conditions of service by law?
Can employers offer better conditions of employment?
Statutory Indtrument no. 45 of 2012 - Domestic workers?
Can employees solve their Labour problems themselves?
What steps should employees follow in resolving their labour problems?
What is the minimum age for employment?
Who is a Causal Employee?
What is Casualisation?
What is Summary Dismissal?
What is a Disciplinary Code?
What happens if there is no disciplinary code and the employer wants to discipline a worker?
Can Employers Oppose Union Activities?
If there is no Union, can one be formed?
Is forming a Union a protecte right?
How is a union formed?
How is a union formed?
What is a Recognition Agreement?
Who registers the union?
What are some of the qualifications for one to stand as a union leader?
What is a collective Agreement?
Does the Employer have to bargain with the Union?
Are employers obliged to disclose information?
Do workers have rights to strike?
What are the consequences of an illegal strike?
What kinds of acts constitute Unfair Labour Practices?
What actions are unions not permitted to do under the law?
How can non-unioised employees ensure that their rights at work are protected?
What are rights and obligations of an employee?
What are the rights and obligations of an employer?
When expatriates come to work in this country can their pension benefits be transferred between countries?
Who regulates the pension schemes?

 


 

What are the different ways in which employment relations may end?

An employment relation may end through the following ways: - Expiry of contract or fixed-term agreement - Resignation; - retirement; - Redundancy; - Death; - Termination.

 

Under What Circumstances can an employee be declared Redundant?

- The employer ceasing or intending to cease to carry on the business by virtue of which the employee was engaged
- The business ceasing or reducing the requirement for the employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where the employee was engaged and the business is no longer a viable going concern.

Whenever an employer intends to terminate a contract of employment for reason of redundancy, the employer shall:

- Provide notice of not less than thirty days to the labour office or Union of the employees to be affected and the period within which the termination is intended to be carried out;

- Afford the Union to which the employee belongs an opportunity for consultations on the measures to be taken to minmise the effects to termination and the adverse impact on the employees and not less than sixty days prior to effecting the termination, notify the proper offer of the impending terminations by reason of redundancy.

Further, the employer should submit to the officer the following information:

-The reasons for the termination by redundancy;

- The number of categories of employees likely to be affected;

- The period within which the redundancies are to be affected;

- The nature of the redundancy package.

An employee whose contract of service has been terminated by reason of redundancy shall:

- Be entitled to such redundancy payment as agreed by the parties or as determined by the Minister through the statutory instruments i.e. two months basic pay for each year served; and

Be paid the redundancy benefits not later than the last day of duty.

Where an employer is unable to pay the redundancy benefits on the last day of duty of the employee, the employer shall continue to pay the employee full wages until the redundancy benefits are paid.

The above provision shall not apply to:

- A company in liquidation;

- A casual employee;

- An employee engaged for a fixed term and the redundancy coincides with the expiration of that term;

- An employee who is on probation; and

- An employee who has been offered alternative employment and has unreasonably refused the offer.

The employer cannot use redundancy as a way of dismissing someone for reasons relating to the employee's bad conduct or poor performance.

 

What is an Employment Contract?

A contract of employment is an agreement made between an employer and an employee about terms and conditions of employment. The agreement can be made orally or in writing. Both express and implied terms can be included in the contract. The Labour Department encourages employers and employees to set out terms and conditions of service in written contracts.

 

What details should be contained in the employment contract?


- Employer's full name;

- Employer's address

- Workers name;

- Worker's occupation or a brief description of the work to be performed;

- Place(s) of work

- Working hours and days of work;

- Salary or wage or the rate and method of calculating wages;

- Rate for overtime;

- Any other cash payments;

- Any payments in kind and their value;

- Frequency of payment;

- Any deductions;

- Any rate of leave to which the worker is entitled;

- Period of notice required for termination; and

- Period of contract
.

 

Where the contract of employment is not in writting, is it obligatory for the employer to provide a copy of the contract to his employee?

Yes. Even if the contract of employment is not in writting, the employer shall maintain or cause to be maintained a record of oral contract of service signed by the employer and employee and give a copy to the employee as required by Section 24 of the Employment Act.   

 

What are the benefits of the contract?

- It protects the interests of both the employee and employer because it is legally binding;
- It outlines and stipulates the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the parties involved and therefore both parties know their roles;

- A contract is a legally binding document that can be used as proof in the courts of law in case of any labour dispute; and

- Employers that do not provide contracts to their employees risk losing the case in an event of labour dispute in that the revelation of the employee would be used as evidence to the fact of the matter.

 

Does an employee have to sign an employment contract, if he/she does not understand it?

No. It is the obligation of the employer to ensure that the employee has a clear understanding of the contract he/she signs. Before contracts are entered into be both parties the employer must forward a copy of contract to the labour office for approval. after the contract is approved and signed by the parties involved, it is the mandate of the labour officer to attest the contract to ensure that the employee enters into the contract voluntarily and with full understanding of the contents of the contract. By law, employers should ensure that the signed contracts are attested especially for the protected employees who fall under statutory instruments Nos. 1 and 2 of 2011. If an employer has 10 protected employees, 10 contracts have to be sent to the labour office for attestation.

 

In what circumstances does attestation not apply?

Attestation of contracts by the labour office does not apply to contracts made between employers and professional employees who are literate and understand the provisions of the contracts.

 

What happens when one party breaches the Contract?

If any party believes another party has breached the agreement affecting the employment relationship, the parties should talk to each other to try to resolve the problem. They may also contact the nearest labour office for information, advice or mediation or seek court (Industrial Relations Court) redress.

 

What happens if an employer terminates an employment contract without giving notice?

If a contract is terminated without notice, the employee is entitled to be paid the sum of all wages and other benefits that would have been due to the employee if he/she had continued to work until the end of the contract period if the contract has no termination clause.

 

What is the minimum wage?

This is the lowest basic remuneration due to an employee which is prescribe by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security through a statutory Instrument. It is meant for vulnerable workers who are not able to negotiate their condition of service.
The minimum wage does not apply to the following ctaegories of workers:

- Unionised employees;

- Civil servants

- Domestic workers;

- Management

- Employees serving under contracts: and

- Employees covered by Collective Bargaining.

 

What are the basic conditions of service by Law?

- Annual Leave: A full-time employee who has worked over a period of six month is entitled to a minimum of 2 days leave per month of which accumulates to 24 days per year;
- Public Holidays: When an employee works on sunday or public holidays (e.g Christmas) sh/she is entitled to overtime pay at double the normal rate (where Sunday does not form part of the working days);.

 

 

 

 


 

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REVISED STATUTORY INSTRUMENT

Statutory Instrument (SI) - The Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act. Click below to view detailed SI documentation.