Table of Contents

Ghana

Table of Contents

Currency

Ghanaian Cedi (GHS)

Payroll Frequency

Monthly or Bi-weekly

Employer Taxes

13%

About Ghana

Bordering the Ivory Coast, Togo and the Atlantic Ocean, Ghana is a country in West Africa with a rich and diverse culture and history. The Kingdom of Ashanti was one of the most powerful to reign over the region before the arrival of the British in the late 19th century, with Ghana gaining independence in 1957. With a population of 28 million people, Ghana has numerous ethnic, linguistic and religious groups. Ethnic groups include Asante, Ewe, Fante, Boron, Dagomba, Dangme, Dagarte, and Kokomba. The majority of Ghanaians practice Christianity alongside a substantial Muslim population. The nation has a market-based economy with limited policy hurdles to investment and trade in contrast with other African nations in the region. Agriculture accounts for Ghana’s 20% GDP and is the industry which employs most of the nation’s workers. Oil, cocoa and gold comprise the majority of Ghana’s exports. However, Ghana is also a significant emerging market with a fast developing digital-based mixed economy.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

In Ghana, the Labour Act allows the use of fixed-term contracts for workers engaged in tasks of a permanent nature and does not mandate the use of permanent contracts in these instances. Under the law, temporary workers who are employed by the same employer for a continuous period of more than 6 months are considered as permanent workers if their contract fails to specify employment duration. A permanent contract can be terminated by giving notice to the other party.

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

There is no documented limit to the maximum duration (including renewals) of fixed-term contracts in the labor law of Ghana. However, it is the employer's responsibility to ensure that the contractor understands the term and that it remains clearly documented in any subsequent extensions or agreements. The Act allows the use of fixed-term contracts for workers engaged in tasks of a permanent nature. Employees whose contracts are renewed successively are considered to be permanent employees.

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

The labor law of Ghana makes a distinction between temporary and casual workers. Temporary workers are defined as those who are employed for a continuous period of at least one month and are not permanent workers or those hired for seasonal work. Minimum provisions with respect to wage, hours of work, rest periods, paid public holidays, night work, and sick leave apply to temporary workers. If the temporary employment engagement exceeds six consecutive months, and the employment contract does not specify a duration, the worker is treated as a permanent employee. A contract of employment for a casual worker does not need to be in writing; however, the respective worker is entitled to: Equal pay for work of equal value for each day worked in the organization. Access to necessary medical facilities made available to the workers generally by the employer Be paid for overtime work. Be paid full minimum remuneration for each day on which the employee attends work, whether or not the weather prevents the worker from carrying on regular work and whether it is possible or not to arrange alternative work on such a day.

Probationary Period

In Ghana, the Labour Act does not contain explicit provisions or guidance regarding the maximum duration of probationary periods, but it references a “reasonable” period to be determined in advance. Probationary period and conditions of probation may be provided for in collective agreements. However, when a probationary period is contractually required as a condition for employment, the contract must specify the duration of the probation for the employee. Employees dismissed during their probation are not entitled to any severance or redundancy payment. They can be dismissed without notice. 

Working Hours

The labor law dictates that the standard working time is eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. However, an organization may prescribe the hours of work differently, subject to the following: Where shorter hours of work are fixed for particular days, other days may compensate proportionately, but not exceeding nine hours a day, or a total of 40 hours a week. Where longer hours of work are fixed for particular days, the average number of work hours over a period of four weeks must not exceed eight hours a day or 40 hours per week. A seasonal employee may work for ten hours per day, provided that average working hours during the year do not exceed eight hours a day.

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

In Ghana, workers are entitled to paid public holidays. The following holidays are observed: New Year's Day – January 1 Constitution Day – January 7 Independence Day – March 6 Good Friday – date subject to change annually Easter Monday – date subject to change annually May Day (Workers' Day) – May 1 Eid-Ul-Fitr – date subject to change annually Eid-Ul-Adha – date subject to change annually Founders' Day – August 4 Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day – September 21 Farmer's Day – first Friday in December Christmas Day – December 25 Boxing Day – December 26

• Paid Annual Leave

Every employee is entitled to no less than 15 working days' leave with full pay after 12 months of continuous service. Where the work is not regularly maintained throughout the year, the requirement for continuous service is met if the employee has worked for 200 days in a particular year.  Employees can take their annual leave in 2 approximately equal parts. Every employee has the right to enjoy an uninterrupted annual leave. Exception is made in cases of urgent necessity, when employers may require employees to interrupt their leave and return to work. Employers must compensate the employee for any reasonable expense incurred because of the interruption. Employers must inform their employees at least 30 days before the commencement of leave about its start date. Upon termination of an employment agreement, the employee is entitled to annual leave in proportion to the duration of service in the calendar year (except in the case of termination without notice by the employer). Any agreement to relinquish the right to annual leave or to forgo such leave is null and void. 

• Sick Leave

In Ghana, an employee who has an illness that has been certified by a medical practitioner has the right to a leave of absence. The Labour Act is silent as to whether this leave is with remuneration. The law specifies that sick leave certified by a medical practitioner does not count against an employee's paid annual leave entitlement. Furthermore, if the employee takes certified sick leave starting or during the time annual leave is taken, the sick leave will not be counted as part of the annual leave.

• Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave with full pay if they provide a certificate issued by a medical practitioner or midwife, indicating the expected date of delivery. The leave can be extended by two additional weeks in case of birth complications, or the birth of two or more babies. Under the Labour Act of Ghana, workers on maternity leave are entitled to remuneration of their full wages (paid by the employer) as well as other prearranged benefits, during the 12-week (84-day) period.

• Paternity Leave

There are no provisions on paid or unpaid paternity leave in the Labour Act of Ghana.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

In Ghana, a contract of employment may be terminated for several reasons, which are listed in the Ghanaian Labor Act. The notice length depends on the type of contract: In the case of a contract of three years or more – one month’s notice or one month’s pay in lieu of notice In the case of a contract of under three years – two weeks’ notice or two weeks’ pay in lieu of notice In the case of an agreement from week to week – seven days’ notice At the close of any day without notice, for at-will employment contracts Notices are required to be given in writing and must stipulate the date of issue. In cases of collective agreements with terms more beneficial to the employee, the collective agreement prevails. The length of notice of termination required to be given in the case of a person with disability must not be shorter than one month.

• Severance Benefits

An employee has the right to receive severance pay from an employer only when the employer closes down or undergoes a merger and this causes the worker to become unemployed or suffer a diminution in the terms and conditions of employment. The amount of redundancy pay, as well as the terms and conditions of payment, are negotiated between employer and employee or relevant trade union.  In addition to possible redundancy pay, workers are also entitled to the following payments on termination of employment, made within the duration of the notice period, or the next working day in case of no notice: Any remuneration earned by the worker before contract termination Any deferred payment due to the worker before contract termination Any compensation due to the worker with regards to sickness or accident Repatriation expenses in the event of contract termination for foreign contracts