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Termination and Severance Policies

Learn about the legal processes for employee termination and severance in Gambia

Notice period

In The Gambia, the Employment Act outlines the legal requirements for notice periods during employment termination. The required notice period depends on the type of employment contract and the employee's length of service.

Indefinite Employment Contracts

For indefinite employment contracts (contracts without a set end date), the required notice period varies depending on the employee's wage payment schedule and length of service:

  • If wages are paid monthly, one month's notice is required.
  • For fortnightly wage payment, the notice period depends on the length of service:
    • Less than six years of service: One fortnight's notice
    • Six or more years of service: One month's notice

It's important to note that employment contracts can stipulate longer notice periods than the legal minimums, but not shorter.

Fixed-Term Employment Contracts

The minimum notice period for terminating a fixed-term employment contract before its expiry is 14 days.

Termination Due to Redundancy

In cases of redundancy due to economic, organizational, climatic, or technical reasons, a minimum notice period of six months applies.

Payment in Lieu of Notice

Employers have the option to pay the employee in lieu of providing the required notice period.

Severance pay

In The Gambia, the Employment Act provides guidelines on when employees are entitled to severance pay.

Severance Pay Eligibility

Severance pay is applicable in certain situations. One of these is redundancy. Employees with indefinite employment contracts who are dismissed due to economic, organizational, climatic, or technical reasons are entitled to severance pay. This includes instances where a position becomes redundant due to mechanization or automation, or if the place of employment relocates more than 40 kilometers and the employee declines an offer for relocated employment.

Severance Pay Calculation

The calculation for severance pay in The Gambia is based on six months of the employee's earnings.

Exceptions to Severance Pay

However, there are exceptions to the statutory severance pay entitlements. These include the expiration of fixed-term contracts at their agreed end date, employee resignation, and dismissal for misconduct or "gross negligence" as determined by labor laws.

Termination process

The termination process of employees in The Gambia is governed by the guidelines provided within the Employment Act. This process involves several key steps and legal requirements.

Types of Termination

There are three main types of termination:

  1. Termination by Notice: This is when either the employer or the employee decides to end the employment contract by providing written notice.
  2. Termination without Notice: In cases of gross misconduct such as theft, fraud, serious insubordination, or willful damage to the employer's property, employers can dismiss an employee without notice. The employer must provide a written reason for the summary dismissal and allow the employee an opportunity to respond.
  3. Redundancy: This occurs when employers dismiss employees for economic, technical, structural, or similar reasons. The employer must consult with the employee and consider any ways to mitigate the redundancy.

Written Notice of Termination

The termination notice must be in writing and specify the date the notice was issued, the date of termination, and the reason for termination.

Payment in Lieu of Notice

In some cases, employers may choose to pay an employee their wages instead of requiring them to work out the notice period.

Certificate of Employment

Upon termination, an employer must issue the employee a certificate of employment. This certificate should outline the start and end dates of employment, the job title, and the type of work performed.

Disputes about Termination

If an employee disputes the reason for their termination, they may file a complaint with the Labour Commissioner.

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