The Chamber of Commerce and Industry France Ghana (CCIFG) organised a Business Breakfast meeting on Human Resources and its legal approach recently at the Accra City Hotel. Facilitated by Partners of leading legal firms in Ghana, AB Lexmall & Associates and B & P Associates, the conference gathered about 80 business executives from various sectors in corporate Ghana.
The event began with a keynote address given by the Managing Director of the Chamber, Mrs Delphine Adenot-Owusu, where she highlighted on the significance on the event saying “the information that shall be shared today will give each one of us the tools and knowledge to effectively handle HR concerns in our various businesses. Various aspects shall be addressed including types of employment, termination, trade unions and dealing with disciplinary issues.”
Dr. Kweku Ainuson from AB Lexmall & Associates followed with the first presentation where he focused on employer-employee relationship with emphasis made on termination, dismissal and redundancy. He stated the importance of employer-employee relationship and the factors such as culture, history and law that influence this relationship.
According to his presentation, most employment relationships are legally governed, in order to deal with complications that arise. He emphasized on the three main types of ending an employer-employee relationship namely termination on notice, dismissal and redundancy. For termination on notice, either party – employer or employee could “walk away”.
The expert however clarified the recent twist to giving a notice period, and whether or not giving reason(s) is relevant. He suggested participants apply termination on notice without reason(s), to avoid interrogation and proof of reason. Speaking on dismissal, Dr. Ainuson recommended that employers clearly indicate some examples of misconduct in their work contracts, follow a correct procedure when a dismissal occurs and more importantly, act fairly. In his conclusion, he mentioned the major requirements to follow when a company becomes redundant, and clearly quoted “not all redundancies should lead to compensation for the worker”.
Adelaide Benneh Prempeh, Managing Partner of B&P Associates presented on legal aspects of human resources with focus on Women, Trade Unions, and Probation. In her introduction, she mentioned the relevant laws in relation to women in employment and the major topics surrounding women in employment – sexual harassment, discrimination and statutory maternity leave.
She recommended employers provide a detailed employee handbook that covers some sensitive topics, for example, anti-sexual harassment policy to ensure fairness when issues relating to women arise.
Ms Prempeh then presented some relevant laws pertaining to trade unions and suggested that employers and employees subscribe to the available platforms in Ghana to ensure fairness during negotiations – the collecting agreement, as it is termed. Addressing probation, she stated that law is not very vocal on this topic, however, employers in their contract must be very specific in relation to the duration and role of the employee on probation and perhaps provide feedback after probation.
In her conclusion, she provided duties of an employer under section 9 of Act 651 of the labour law and some practical tips for employers. She also emphasized on keeping records by documenting.
The final presentation was followed with an engaging question and answer session where clarifications were made on common occurrences in companies and the best approach to dealing with these issues.