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Termination and Severance Policies

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

Notice period

In Haitian labor law, employers are required to provide notice periods when terminating employees who have been in service for more than three months. The duration of the notice period increases in proportion to the length of employment.

Notice Periods Based on Length of Employment

The mandatory notice periods, depending on an employee's length of service, are as follows:

  • 3 to 12 months: 15 days' notice
  • 1 to 3 years: 1 month's notice
  • 3 to 6 years: 2 months' notice
  • 6 to 10 years: 3 months' notice
  • 10 or more years: 4 months' notice

Key Points to Note

  • For verbal employment contracts, the notice period can be given verbally in the presence of two witnesses.
  • During the notice period, employers are required to pay employees their regular wages.
  • If an employee is terminated immediately without cause, employers must compensate the employee for the wages they would have earned during the notice period. This is known as notice pay.

Severance pay

In Haiti, labor law requires employers to provide severance pay, known as "preavis" in Haitian Creole, to employees whose employment they terminate. However, this does not apply in cases of dismissal due to serious misconduct.

Calculating Severance Pay

The Haitian Labor Code, specifically Article 63, outlines how to calculate severance pay based on the employee's length of service:

  • For 3 to 12 months of service, the severance pay is half a month's wage.
  • For 1 to 3 years of service, the severance pay is one month's wage.
  • For 3 to 6 years of service, the severance pay is two months' wages.
  • For 6 to 10 years of service, the severance pay is three months' wages.
  • For 10 or more years of service, the severance pay is four months' wages.

Exceptions to Severance Pay

Article 65 of the Haitian Labor Code outlines scenarios where severance pay is not required:

  • If an employee resigns voluntarily, they do not qualify for severance pay.
  • If a fixed-term contract ends on its specified date, the employer is not obligated to pay severance.
  • Employers can terminate employees for serious misconduct without paying severance. The Haitian Labor Code provides specific definitions of serious misconduct.

Termination process

In Haiti, the termination process is primarily governed by the Haitian Labor Code and must adhere to legal guidelines to ensure fair and lawful termination.

Types of Termination

There are several types of termination:

  • Termination by Employer (with cause): Employers have the right to terminate employees with cause for reasons outlined in the Haitian Labor Code, such as serious misconduct or repeated absences.
  • Termination by Employer (without cause): Employers can terminate employees without cause but must adhere to certain legal requirements.
  • Termination by Employee: Employees may resign from their employment by providing proper notice as per their contract.
  • Mutual Termination Agreement: Employer and employee can mutually agree to terminate the employment relationship. Conditions of this termination should be outlined in a signed agreement.

Steps in Employer-Initiated Termination

The process of employer-initiated termination involves several steps:

  1. Documentation: Employers must thoroughly document the reason(s) for termination, ensuring alignment with the Haitian Labor Code's stipulations.
  2. Written Notice: If terminating without cause, provide the employee with written notice specifying the termination date.
  3. Final Payments: Upon termination, provide the employee with all outstanding wages and accrued vacation time.

Adhering to Haitian labor law in employment termination is crucial to avoid legal disputes and potential penalties. It's important to ensure all steps are followed correctly and all necessary documentation is completed.

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