Rivermate | Gambia flag


Employment Agreement Essentials

Understand the key elements of employment contracts in Gambia

Types of employment agreements

In Gambia, employment contracts can be established through various agreements, each outlining specific terms and conditions. Here's a breakdown of the common types:

Indefinite Term Contracts

Indefinite term contracts are open-ended employment agreements with no pre-determined end date. They offer stability for the employee and flexibility for the employer, who can terminate with proper notice as outlined in the Gambian Labour Act.

Fixed Term Contracts

Fixed term contracts specify a predetermined duration for employment, such as a specific project or period. Once the term concludes, the contract typically ends unless renewed by both parties.

Contract for a Specific Task

A contract for a specific task is suited for a well-defined, one-time project with a clear deliverable. The employment relationship terminates upon completion of the specific task.

Essential clauses

An employment agreement in Gambia should clearly define the expectations and obligations of both the employer and employee. A written agreement strengthens the legal framework of the employment relationship. Here are the essential clauses to consider:

Basic Information

  • Parties: The employer and employee should be clearly identified with their full names and contact details.
  • Commencement Date: The official start date of employment should be specified.
  • Job Title and Description: The employee's job title, duties, and responsibilities should be outlined.

Remuneration and Benefits

  • Salary: The employee's base salary, payment frequency, and any applicable allowances should be stated.
  • Benefits: Any benefits offered, such as health insurance, paid leave, bonuses, and pension contributions should be detailed.
  • Payment Methods: The method of payment for the salary and benefits should be specified.

Working Hours and Conditions

  • Working Hours: The standard working hours per week, including breaks and overtime arrangements, should be defined.
  • Leave: The types of leave offered and the respective entitlement duration and notification procedures should be specified.


  • Termination Clause: The grounds for termination by either party should be outlined, including the notice periods required for termination by both employer and employee.
  • Severance Pay: Any severance pay entitlement should be specified.

Confidentiality and Intellectual Property

  • Confidentiality: A clause protecting the employer's confidential information and restricting the employee's disclosure of such information should be included.
  • Intellectual Property: The ownership of intellectual property rights created by the employee during employment should be addressed.

Dispute Resolution

  • Governing Law: The law that governs the interpretation and enforcement of the agreement should be specified.
  • Dispute Resolution Mechanism: The process for resolving any disputes arising from the employment agreement should be outlined.

Probationary period

In the Gambian labor law framework, the concept of a probationary period in employment agreements is recognized. This period allows both the employer and employee to assess suitability for the role.

The legal framework for probationary periods is established by The Gambia's Labour Act, 2007 (Section 37). It differentiates between skilled and unskilled workers:

  • Unskilled Workers: The Act allows for a maximum probationary period of six months.
  • Skilled Workers: The parties can agree on a probationary period not exceeding twelve months.

Key Characteristics

  • Purpose: The probationary period serves as a trial period for both employer and employee to evaluate job fit, skills, and performance.
  • Termination During Probation: During this period, either party can terminate the employment contract without notice or severance pay. However, termination should not be based on discriminatory grounds or reasons violating the Employment Act.

Crafting a Probationary Clause

A well-drafted probationary clause in the employment agreement should include:

  • Specified Duration: Clearly state the duration of the probationary period based on worker classification (skilled or unskilled).
  • Performance Evaluation: Outline the process for performance evaluation during the probationary period. This could include setting clear expectations, providing feedback mechanisms, and potential consequences for underperformance.
  • Confirmation of Employment: Specify the process for transitioning the employee to permanent status upon successful completion of the probation.

Incorporating these elements makes the probationary clause a valuable tool for assessing suitability and ensuring a smooth onboarding experience for both parties.

Confidentiality and non compete clauses

Confidentiality and non-compete clauses are often included in employment agreements in Gambia to protect the legitimate business interests of employers. However, the enforcement of these clauses can be challenging, and it's essential to draft them within reasonable boundaries.

Confidentiality Clauses

Confidentiality clauses are designed to protect an employer's confidential information, such as trade secrets, client lists, or technical know-how. For a confidentiality clause to be enforceable, it should:

  • Clearly define what constitutes confidential information protected by the clause.
  • Limit the scope of confidential information to legitimate business interests. Overly broad definitions may be challenged in court.
  • Specify the authorized use of confidential information by the employee during and after employment.
  • Establish a reasonable duration for the confidentiality obligations to remain in effect after employment ends.

Non-Compete Clauses

Non-compete clauses limit an employee's ability to work for a competitor or start a competing business after leaving the company. Gambian courts are generally reluctant to enforce non-compete clauses due to concerns about limiting an employee's right to work. However, they may be upheld in limited circumstances:

  • The clause safeguards a legitimate business interest of the employer, such as protecting trade secrets or confidential client information.
  • The restrictions are reasonable in terms of geographical scope and duration. Courts may strike down clauses with overly broad limitations.
Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.