LABOUR ACT, 2003 (ACT 651), SS 123-179

LABOUR ACT, 2003 (ACT 651)
123. Appointment of inspectors

Inspectors  shall  be  appointed  by  the  appointing  authority  of  the  Civil  Service  for  the  purposes specified in this Act.

124. Powers of labour inspectors

(1)  An inspector has power

(a) to enter freely and without notice at any hour of the day or night to inspect any workplace during working hours;

(b) to enter during the day or night any premises which the inspector has reason to believe are subject to inspection;

(c) to  carry  out  any  examination,  test  or  inquiry  the  inspector  considers  necessary  in  order  to ensure that the provisions of this Act and the Regulations are complied with;

(d) to  interview, either alone or in the presence of witnesses, any employer or worker on any matter  concerning  the  application  and  compliance  with  the  provisions  of  this  Act  and  the Regulations;

(e) to require the production of any books, registers or other documents which relate to the terms and  conditions  of  employment  of  the  workers,  in  order  to  ascertain  that  these  are  in                conformity with this Act and the Regulations and to copy the documents  or make extracts from them;

(f) to enforce the posting of notices required by or under this Act;

(g) to take or remove for purposes of analysis samples of materials and hazardous or   chemical substances used or handled by workers in the course of their employment; and

(h) to direct employers to carry out alterations to buildings, installations and plant necessary to avert a danger or threat of danger to the health or safety of the workers within the period specified  in  the  direction,  but  a  such  period  shall  not  be  allowed if the inspector is of the opinion that there is an imminent danger to the health or safety of the workers.

(2) An employer who is directed under subsection (1) (h) to carry out any alterations may,

(a) where the period within which the alterations are to be carried out is specified, appeal to the Minister against the direction within seven days before the expiration of the period; or

(b) where a period is not specified, appeal not later  than seven days after the direction, against the direction, to the Minister.

(3) The decision of the Minister on the appeal shall, subject to any other law, be final, and the employer shall abide by the decision and any related consequential order made.

(4) Where an appeal is lodged under subsection (2) the Minister shall direct the employer to take the interim measures that the employer considers necessary to avert a danger or threat of danger to the health or safety of the workers pending the determination of the appeal.

(5) An employer directed under subsection (1) (h) to carry out any alterations who does not appeal to the Minister against the direction shall

(a) in  the  case  of  imminent  danger  to  health  or  safety  of  workers,  carry  out  the  alterations immediately; or

(b) where the period for the carrying out of the alterations is specified, carry out the alterations before the expiration of the period.

(6) An employer who fails to comply with a decision or order of the Minister or an inspector under subsection (2) or (4) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred  and  fifty  penalty  units  and  in  addition  is  liable  to  pay  compensation  to  a  person  who  proves shaving suffered loss, damage or injury as a result of the non-compliance by the employer.

125. Inspectors to maintain confidentiality

(1)  An inspector

(a) shall not have direct or indirect interest in an undertaking the inspector is required to inspect;

(b) shall not divulge during or after termination of the inspector’s service, any manufacturing or commercial secrets or working processes or confidential information which may have come to the inspector’s knowledge in the course of duties;

(c) shall  not  disclose  the  source  of  a  complaint  by  which  the  inspector  is  informed  of  a contravention of provision of this Act or the Regulations, or intimate to the employer or the employer’s   representative   that   an   inspection   was   carried   out   in   consequence   of   the complaint.

(2) An  inspector  who  contravenes  subsection  (1)  commits  an  offence  and  is  liable  on  summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

126. Obstruction of inspectors

A  person  who  wilfully  obstructs  a  labour  inspector  in  the  performance  of  functions  under  this  Act commits an offence, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty  units  or  to  a  term  of  imprisonment  not  exceeding  twelve  months  or  to  both  the  fine  and  the imprisonment.

Unfair Labour Practices
127. Discrimination

(1) A person who discriminates against any other person with respect to the employment or conditions of employment because that other person is a member or an officer of a trade union is guilty of unfair labour practice.

(2) A person who seeks by intimidation, dismissal, threat of dismissal, or by any kind of threat or by imposition of a penalty, or by giving or offering to give a wage increase or any other favourable alteration of terms of employment, or by any other means, seeks to induce a worker to refrain from becoming or continuing to be a member or officer of a trade union, is guilty of unfair labour practice.

(3) A worker or group of workers who by any kind of threat seeks to intimidate the employer during negotiations of a collective agreement, is guilty of unfair labour practice.

(4) Employers or employers’ organisations who seek by any kind of threat to intimidate the worker during negotiations of a collective agreement, are guilty of unfair labour practice.

128. Interference by employers in union affairs

An  employer  who  takes  part  in  the  formation  of  a  trade  union  or,  with  the  intention  of  adversely influencing a trade union, makes a contribution, in money or money’s worth, to that trade union, is guilty of unfair labour practice.

129. Employer to facilitate workers’ trade union business

(1) An employer shall, subject to notice of not less than twenty-four hours, allow an officer of a trade union  whose  members  include  any  of  the  employer’s  workers,  reasonable  facilities  and  time  to  confer with the employer or workers on matters affecting the members of the trade union who are workers of the employer,  and  an  employer  who  fails  to  give  reasonable  facilities  and  time  is  guilty  of  unfair  labour practice.

(2) In this section “reasonable facilities” means the facilities that the employer and the workers may agree are reasonably required for the purposes stated in subsection (1).

130. Interference that causes financial loss

Subject to the other provisions of this Act, if a worker carries on an activity intended to cause serious interference with the business of the employer that may result in financial loss, the worker is guilty of unfair labour practice.

131. Union activities during working hours

(1) An officer of a trade union or any other person shall not during normal working hours attempt to persuade or induce a worker, not covered by a collective agreement, to become a member or an officer of a trade union while the worker is on the premises of the employer, without the consent of the employer.

(2) An officer of a trade union or any other person shall not during normal working hours confer with an  employee  on  trade  union  matters  while  the  worker  is  on  the  premises  of  the  employer  without  the consent of the employer.

(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) is guilty of unfair labour practice.

132. Complaints

The Commission shall enquire into and determine complaints of unfair labour practices brought before it in accordance with its rules of procedure.

133. Commission to make orders

(1) Where the Commission finds that a person has engaged in an unfair labour practice it may, make an order forbidding that person to engage or continue to engage in the activities specified in the order.

(2) Where the Commission finds that a person has engaged in an unfair labour practice under section 127 which involves the termination of employment of a worker, the alteration of the employment or of the conditions of the employment, the Commission may, make an order requiring the worker’s employer

(a) to take the steps specified in the order to restore the position of the worker, and

(b) to pay to the worker a sum specified in the order as compensation for the loss of earnings attributed to the contravention.

(3) Where the Commission finds that a person has engaged in an unfair labour practice under section 128 by making a contribution to a trade union, the Commission may, order that the trade union refund the contribution.

(4) For the purposes of enforcing an order of the Commission under this section, the order shall have effect as if it were made by the High Court.

134. Appeals

A person aggrieved by an order, direction or decision made or given by the Commission under section 133 may, within fourteen days of the making or giving  of the order, direction or decision, appeal to the Court of Appeal.

National Labour Commission

 Establishment and Functions of the National Labour Commission

135. Establishment of Commission

There is established by this Act a National Labour Commission.

136. Composition of the Commission

(1) The Commission consists of:

(a) the chairperson who shall be nominated by the employers’ organisation and organised labour except that where there is failure to nominate a chairperson within sixty days as provided, the employers’  organisation in consultation with organised labour shall submit the matter to a mediator agreed on by them, and

(b) six  representatives,  two  each  nominated  by  the  Government,  employers’  organisation  and organised labour.

(2) The chairperson and the other members of the Commission shall be appointed by the President acting in consultation with the Council of State.

137. Qualifications of chairperson and other members of the Commission

A person is qualified to be appointed a member of the Commission if that person

(a) does not hold office in a political party, and

(b) has knowledge and expertise in labour relations and management, except that in the case of the chairperson, that person is also knowledgeable in industrial law.

138. Functions and independence of the Commission

(1) The functions of the Commission are,

(a) to facilitate the settlement of industrial disputes;

(b) to settle industrial disputes;

(c) to investigate labour related complaints, in particular unfair labour practices, and take  such steps as it considers necessary to prevent labour disputes;

(d) to maintain a data base of qualified persons to serve as mediators and arbitrators;

(e) to promote effective labour co-operation between labour and management; and

(f) to perform any other function conferred on it under this Act or any other enactment.

(2) In the exercise of its adjudicating and dispute settlement function, the Commission is not subject to the control or direction of any person or authority.

139. Powers of the Commission

(1) The Commission shall exercise the following powers:

(a) receive complaints from workers, trade unions, and employers, or employers’ organisations

(i) on industrial disagreement, and

(ii) allegation of infringement of any requirements of this Act and the Regulations;

(b) require an employer to furnish information and statistics concerning the employment of its workers  and  the  terms  and  conditions  of  their  employment  in  a  form  and  manner  the Commission considers necessary;

(c) require  a  trade  union  or  any  workers’  organisation  to  provide  the  information  that  the Commission considers necessary; and

(d) notify  employers  and  employers’  organisations  or  workers  and  trade  unions  in  cases  of contravention  of  this  Act  and  the  Regulations  and  direct  them  to  rectify  any  default  or irregularities.

(2) Without prejudice to  subsection (1), the Commission shall, in settling an industrial dispute, have the powers of the High Court in respect of

(a) enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath, affirmation or otherwise;

(b) compelling the production of documents; and

(c) the issue of a commission or request to examine witnesses abroad.

(3) The  Commission  shall  in  respect  of  its  proceedings  enjoy  the  same  privileges  and  immunities pertaining to proceedings in the High Court.

140. Meetings of the Commission

(1) The Commission shall meet to settle industrial disputes, but shall meet at least once in every two months to consider matters affecting its administration and the performance of its functions.

(2) The Commission shall at its first meeting nominate one of its members as deputy chairperson.

(3) The quorum at a meeting of the Commission shall consist of the chairperson or, in the absence of the chairperson, the deputy chairperson and four other members of the Commission at least one person each representing Government, employers’ organisation and organised Labour.

(4) The Commission may co-opt a person to attend meetings of the Commission as an adviser or a consultant.

(5) A person co-opted to attend a meeting of the Commission does not have the right to vote on a matter for determination or decision by the Commission.

(6) The  Commission  may  permit  to  be  in  attendance  at  its  meetings  any  other  persons  that  the Commission may determine.

(7) Subject to subsection (2), the Commission shall regulate its own proceedings.

141. Committees of the Commission

(1) The Commission may appoint

(a) a standing committee consisting of members of the Commission, or

(b) an ad hoc committee consisting of non-members or both members and non-members of the Commission,

as the Commission considers necessary for the efficient performance of its functions.

(2) The Commission shall assign to any of its committees any of its functions that it may determine.

142. Allowances for members of the Commission and its committees

The members of the Commission shall be paid allowances determined by the Minister in consultation with the Minister responsible for Finance.

143. Tenure of office of members

(1) The members of the Commission shall hold office for a period of four years and are eligible for re-appointment after the expiration of their tenure of office.

(2) The  chairperson  or  a  member  of  the  Commission  may  at  any  time  resign  from  office  by  letter addressed to the President through the Minister.

(3) A member  of  the Commission  may  be  removed  from  the  Commission  by  the  President  for inability to perform the functions of office, for stated misbehaviour or for a just cause.

144. Regional and district committees of the Commission

(1) Despite section 141, the Commission may establish as it considers necessary, regional and district labour committees.

(2) The composition of a regional or district labour committee shall be determined by the Commission except  that  there  shall  be  equal  representation  of  Government,  organised  labour  and  employers’ organisations.

(3) The  members  of  a  regional  or  district  labour  committee  shall  be  persons  with  knowledge  in industrial relations.

(4) A regional or district labour committee shall elect from among its membership, a chairperson and a deputy chairperson.

145. Functions of a regional or district labour committee

A regional or district labour committee shall perform  in the respective Region or district any of the functions of the Commission assigned to it in writing by the Commission.

146. Meetings of a regional or district labour committee

The  provisions  under  sections  140  to   143  in  respect  of  the  Commission  shall  apply  with  the modifications  that  are  necessary  to  the  regional  and  district  labour  committees  provided  for  under  this Act.

147. Secretariat for the Commission

The Commission and a regional or district labour committee of the Commission shall be provided with the secretarial services and staff that are necessary for the effective performance of its functions under this Act.

148. Expenditure of the Commission

There shall be appropriated annually to the Commission by Parliament the funds that the Commission requires to meet the expenditure of the Commission in the performance of its functions including those for its regional and district committees.

149. Accounts and audit

(1) The  Commission  shall  keep  books  of  account  and  proper  records  in  relation  to  the  books  of account.

(2) The books of account and the records shall be in the form approved by the Auditor-General.

(3) The Auditor-General shall, within three months after the expiration of each financial year, audit the books of account and records of the Commission in respect of the preceding year.

(4) The financial year of the Commission shall be the same as the financial year of the Government.

150. Reports from regional and district labour committees

A  regional  or  district  labour  committee  shall  submit  to  the  Commission  annual  reports  within  the period  that  the  Commission  may  direct  on  its  activities,  and  shall  submit  any  other  reports  as  the Commission may request.

151. Annual reports of the Commission

(1) The  Commission  shall,  within  eight  months  after  the  end  of  each  financial  year,  submit  to  the Minister an annual report on the activities of the Commission during that year.

(2) The  report  shall  include  a  copy  of  the  audited  accounts  of  the  Commission  in  respect  of  the financial year and the report of the Auditor-General on the audited accounts.

(3) The  Minister  shall  within  two  months  of  the  receipt  of  the  annual  report  from  the  Commission submit the report to Parliament with the comments that the Minister considers necessary.

152. Regulations by the Commission

(1) The Commission may, by legislative instrument, make Regulations providing for

(a) the procedure for negotiation, mediation and arbitration proceedings, and

(b) other matters necessary for the effective discharge of its functions under this Act.

(2) Regulations  made  under  subsection  (1)  shall  be  under  the  signature  of  the  chairperson  of  the Commission or in that person’s absence under the signature of the deputy chairperson.

Settlement of Industrial Disputes
153. Settlement by negotiation

The parties to an industrial dispute are under an obligation to negotiate in good faith with a view to reaching a settlement of the dispute in accordance with the dispute settlement procedures established in the collective agreement or contract of employment.

154. Mediation

(1) Subject to the time limit in respect of essential services, if the parties fail to settle a dispute by negotiation  within  seven  days  after  the  occurrence  of  the  dispute,  either  party  or  both  parties  by agreement may refer the dispute to the Commission and seek the assistance of the Commission for the appointment of a mediator.

(2) Where the Commission is satisfied that the parties have not exhausted the procedures established in the collective agreement or have not agreed to waive those procedures, the Commission shall order the parties to comply with those procedures within the time determined by the Commission.

(3) When the Commission is satisfied that

(a) the parties have exhausted the procedures established in the collective agreement,

(b) the parties have failed to settle the dispute, and

(c) none of the parties has sought the assistance of the Commission to appoint a mediator, the  Commission  shall  request  the  parties  to  settle  the  dispute  by  mediation  within    three  days  of  the Commission becoming aware of the non-resolution of the dispute.

(4) Where the parties agree to mediate and at the end of the mediation proceedings there is settlement of the dispute, the agreement between the parties as regards the terms of the settlement shall be recorded in writing and signed by the mediator and the parties to the dispute.

(5) The  settlement  agreement  referred  to  in  subsection  (4)  is  binding  on  the  parties  unless  the agreement states otherwise.

(6) When  at  the  end  of  mediation  proceedings,  an  agreement  is  not  reached,  the  mediator  shall immediately declare the dispute as unresolved and refer the dispute to the Commission.

155. List of mediators and arbitrators

(1) The  Commission  shall  maintain  a  list  of  qualified  persons  who  are  knowledgeable  in  industrial relations to serve as mediators or arbitrators for each Region.

(2) Appointments of mediators or arbitrators may be made from the list of mediators and arbitrators.

(3) A person appointed an arbitrator or a member of an arbitration panel is not qualified to serve in

that  capacity  if  that  person  has  a  financial  or  any  other  interest  in  the  undertaking  or  employers’  or workers’ organisation involved in the dispute.

156. Appointment of arbitrators

Subject  to  the  Arbitration  Act,  1961  (Act  38),  or  any  general  enactment  on  dispute  resolution,  the parties to an industrial dispute shall agree on the method of appointment of arbitrators or an arbitration panel and in the absence of an agreement by the parties the Commission shall appoint an arbitrator or an arbitration panel.

157. Voluntary arbitration

(1) When  mediation  fails  under section  154  (6)  and  the  dispute  is  referred  to  the  Commission,  the Commission shall with the consent of the parties refer the dispute to an arbitrator or an arbitration panel appointed under section 156.

(2) The parties to an industrial dispute shall, within three days after the appointment of an arbitrator or an  arbitration  panel  under  section  156,  submit  to  the  arbitrator  in  writing  a  statement  of  the  issues  or questions in dispute signed by one or more of the parties or their representatives.

(3) The  arbitrator  shall  as  soon  as  possible  appoint  a  time  and  place  for the hearing and notify the parties.

(4) If  a  party  fails  to  appear  before  the  arbitrator  after  the  expiration  of  seven  days  after  being  so notified, the arbitrator shall proceed to hear and determine the dispute.

158. Arbitration award

(1) The  decision  of  the  arbitrator  or  a  majority of  the  arbitrators  shall  constitute  the  award  and  is binding on the parties.

(2) The arbitrator shall communicate the award in writing to the parties and the Commission within seventy-two hours after the award has been made except where the Commission is the arbitrator.

159. Notice of intention to resort to strike or lockout


(a) the parties fail to agree to refer the dispute to voluntary arbitration, or

(b) the dispute remains unresolved at the end of the arbitration proceedings, either party intending to take strike action or institute lockout, shall give written notice of this to the other party  and  the  Commission,  within  seven  days  after  failure  to  agree  to  refer  the  dispute  to  voluntary arbitration or the termination of the proceedings.

160. Strike and lockout

(1) A party to an industrial dispute who has given notice of intention to resort to a strike or lockout under section 159 may do so only after the expiration of seven days from the date of the notice and not at any time before the expiration of that period.

(2) If  the  dispute  remains  unresolved  within  seven  days  from  the  commencement  of  the  strike  or lockout, the dispute shall be settled by compulsory arbitration under section 164.

161. Cooling-off period

(1) A  party  to  an  industrial  dispute  shall  not  resort  to  a  strike  or  lockout  during  the  period  when negotiation, mediation or arbitration proceedings are in progress.

(2) A party who contravenes subsection (1) is liable for the damage, loss or injury suffered by any other party to the dispute.

162. Essential services

(1) In  an  industrial  dispute  that  affects  workers  engaged  in  an  essential  service,  the  parties  to  the dispute  shall  endeavour  to  settle  the  dispute  within  three  days  of  the  occurrence  of  the  dispute  by negotiation.

(2) If after the expiration of the three days, the dispute remains unresolved, the parties shall within twenty-four hours of the expiry of the three days, refer the dispute to the Commission for settlement by compulsory arbitration under section 164.

(3) The  Commission  shall  take  immediate  steps,  but  not  later  than  three  days  after  the  dispute  has been referred to it, to settle the dispute by compulsory arbitration under section 164.

163. Prohibition of strike or lockout in respect of essential services

An employer carrying on, or a worker engaged in, an essential service shall not resort to a lockout or strike in connection with or in furtherance of an industrial dispute involving the workers in the essential service.

164. Compulsory reference to arbitration

(1) When  a  dispute  is  referred  to  compulsory  arbitration  in  pursuance  of  section  160  or  162,  the Commission shall be the arbitrators and shall serve on the parties a notice

(a) stating what, in its opinion, are the unresolved issues between the parties, and

(b) asking the parties whether they agree to those issues.

(2) The Commission shall, within fourteen days after service of the notice, determine the dispute by

compulsory arbitration.

(3) A compulsory arbitration shall be composed of three members of the Commission, one member each representing Government, organised labour and an employers’ organisation.

(4) In  a  compulsory  arbitration,  the  decision  of  the  majority  of  the  arbitrators  shall  constitute  the award and is binding on the parties.

165. Powers of arbitrators

An arbitrator appointed under section 156 or  164 shall have the powers of the High Court in respect of enforcing attendance of persons before the arbitrator or examining those persons on oath or affirmation and compelling the production of documents.

166. Vacancy in arbitration panel

(1) In an arbitration composed of more than one arbitrator, where a vacancy occurs in their number, the arbitrators may with the consent of the parties, act despite the vacancy.

(2) Where  the  parties  fail  to  give  their  consent  as  required  under  subsection  (1),  the  party  whose number  of  arbitrators  is  affected  by  the  vacancy,  shall  appoint  another  arbitrator  to  fill  the  vacancy immediately; failing that the Commission shall appoint another arbitrator to fill the vacancy.

(3) In a compulsory arbitration, where a vacancy occurs in the arbitration panel, the other member of the Commission representing the interest group of the absent arbitrator shall fill the vacancy.



167. Publication of compulsory arbitration award and effect of arbitration awards on existing employment contracts

(1) The award of the Commission in a compulsory arbitration shall, immediately on completion be published in the Gazette by the Commission.

(2) An award published under subsection (1) is final and binding on the parties unless challenged in the Court of Appeal on questions of law within seven days after the publication of the award.

(3) Subject  to  an  appeal,  an  award  arising  from  a  voluntary  or  compulsory  arbitration  shall  prevail over a contract of employment or collective agreement in force at the time of the award and the terms of the contract of employment or collective agreement shall be deemed to have been modified as far as may be necessary in order to conform to the award.

168. Illegal strike or lockout

(1) Subject to sections 159 and 160, a strike or lockout is legal if it is in sympathy with or in support of a strike action taken by another worker or group of workers against their employer on account of an industrial dispute with the employer.

(2) A person who declares or instigates or incites others to take part in a strike or lockout or acts in furtherance of a strike or lockout which is illegal under  subsection (1) is liable for the damage, loss or injury suffered by any other person as a result of the illegal strike or lockout.

(3) The form of a strike or lockout in sympathy with another body or organisation shall be in a form agreed on with the management of the sympathisers and shall not disrupt the operational activities of the enterprise whose workers are sympathisers.

(4) Without  prejudice  to  subsection  (2),  a  worker  who  takes  part  in  an  illegal  strike  may  have  the services terminated by the employer without notice for breach of contract of employment or may forfeit remuneration in respect of the period during which the worker is engaged in the illegal strike.

(5) Without prejudice to subsection (2), an employer who resorts to illegal lockout is liable to pay the unpaid remuneration of the workers.

(6) Regulations may provide further for matters relating to sympathy strikes.

169. Legal effect of lawful strike or lockout

(1) During  a  lawful  strike  or  lockout,  the  employment  relationship  between  the  employer  and  the workers shall not be affected by the strike or lockout and a termination of the contract of employment as a result of the lawful strike or lockout is void.

(2) Civil  proceedings  shall  not  be  brought  against  a  worker,  an  employer,  a  trade  union  or  an employers’  organisation  or  an  officer  or  a  member  of  the  trade  union  or  employers’  organisation  in respect of a lawful strike or lockout action taken in conformity with the provisions of this Act.

(3) A provision of sections 168 to 171 shall not render lawful an act of physical coercion or violence against a person or damage to the property of a person where the act or damage is an offence under the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).

170. Temporary replacement of labour

(1) An employer may not employ a person to perform the work of a worker participating in a lawful strike unless the work is necessary to secure essential minimum maintenance services at the undertaking.

(2) A  worker  has  the  right  to  refuse  to  do  a  work  normally  performed  by  the  worker  who  is participating  in  a  lawful  strike  except  that  the  worker  shall  not  refuse  to  perform  the  work  if  it  is necessary to secure minimum maintenance services.

(3) A  dispute  as  to  whether  a  work  is  necessary  to  secure  minimum  maintenance  services  shall  be referred to the Commission for determination, and the decision of the Commission shall, subject to any other law, be final.

(4) For  the  purposes  of  this  section,  “minimum  maintenance  services”  are  those  services  in  an undertaking the interruption of which would result in material damage to equipment and machinery and which  by  agreement  between  the  workers  and  the  employer  under  a  collective  agreement  should  be maintained during strike or lockout.

171. Picketing

(1) It is lawful in furtherance of a lawful strike or lockout for a person to be present at or near not less than ten metres away from the workplace or former workplace or place of business of the employer or former employer, for the purpose of peacefully communicating information or peacefully persuading any other person not to enter the workplace or place of business, work or deal in or handle the employers’ products or do business with the employer.

(2) Picketing is unlawful if it is conducted at a place less than ten metres away from the workplace or place  of  business  of  the  worker,  and  a  person  who  engages  in  an  unlawful  picketing  is  liable  for  the damage, loss or injury suffered by any other person as a result of the unlawful picketing.

Miscellaneous Provisions
172. Enforcement of orders of the Commission

Where a person fails or refuses to comply with a direction or an order issued by the Commission under this Act the Commission shall make an application to the High Court for an order to compel that person to comply with the direction or order.

173. Offences by body of persons

(1) Where an offence under this Act is committed by a body of persons, then

(a) where  the  body  of  persons  is  a  body  corporate,  every  director  of  that  body  corporate  is deemed to have also committed the offence,

(b) where  the  body  of  persons  is  a  firm,  every  partner  of  that  firm  is  deemed  to  have  also committed the offence, and

(c) where the body of persons is a worker’s union or group of workers, every officer or leader of the union or group of workers is deemed to have committed the offence.

(2) A person shall not be convicted of an offence under  subsection (1), if that person proves that the offence  was  committed  without  the  knowledge  of,  or  due  diligence  was  exercised  by  that  person  to prevent the commission of the offence.

174. Regulations

The Minister may by Legislative Instrument, make Regulations,

(a) for securing the compliance in this country with the provisions of an international convention relating to labour made applicable to Ghana  whether before or after the commencement of this Act;

(b) relating to sympathy strikes;

(c) providing  for  the  conditions  and  procedure  for  granting  licences  to  private  employment agencies;

(d) relating to the performance of the National Tripartite Committee;

(e) on  specific  measures  to  be  taken  by  employers  to  safeguard  the  health  and  safety  of  their workers;

(f) specifying special incentives provided for under section 46 (3);

(g) prescribing the fees for licences granted under paragraph (c);

(h) prescribing the scale of fees chargeable by the private employment agencies; and

(i) generally for carrying into effect the provisions of this Act.

175. Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,

arbitrator” includes a panel of arbitrators;

Auditor-General” includes an auditor appointed by the Auditor-General;

centre” means a public employment centre established under section 2;

Commission” means the National Labour Commission established under section 135;

contract of employment” means a contract of service whether express or implied, and if express whether oral or in writing;

Court” means a court of competent jurisdiction;

district committee” means a district labour committee of the Commission;

domestic worker” means a person who is not a member of the family of a person who employs that person as house help;

employer” means a person who employs a worker under a contract of employment;

employers’  organisation”  means  any  organisation  of  employers  established  by  employers  the principal  purposes  of  which  are  the  representation  and  promotion  of  employers’  interests    and  the regulation of relations between employers and workers and which is registered under section 84;

essential services” includes areas in an establishment where an action could result in a particular  or total loss of life or pose a danger to public health and safety and any other services that the Minister may by legislative instrument determine;

industrial dispute” means a dispute between an employer and one or more workers or between workers and workers which relates to the terms and conditions of employment, the physical condition in  which  workers  are  required  to  work,  the  employment  and  non-employment  or  termination  or suspension  of  employment  of  one  or  more  workers  and  the  social  and  economic  interests,  of  the workers but does not include a matter concerning the interpretation of this Act, a collective agreement or  contract  of  employment  or  a  matter  which  by  agreement  between  the  parties  to  a  collective agreement or contract of employment does not give cause for industrial action or lockout;

lockout” means the closing of a workplace, the suspension of work by an employer or refusal by an employer to employ or re-engage a number of the workers, in consequence of an industrial   dispute;

manual labour” means a work performed by hands or physical labour;

medical practitioner” means a medical practitioner registered under the Medical and Dental Act, 1972 (N.R.C.D. 91) or any other law for the time being in force;

midwife” means a midwife registered under the Nurses and Midwives Act, 1972 (N.R.C.D. 117) and does not include a traditional births attendant;

Minister” means the Minister assigned responsibility for Labour;

person  with  disability”  means  an  individual  who,  on  account  of  injury,  disease  or  congenital deformity, is substantially handicapped in obtaining or keeping employment or in engaging, in a work on the individual’s own account, of a kind which apart from that injury, disease or deformity would be suited to the age, experience and qualification of the individual;

picketing” means the action whereby workers outside  a place of work intend to persuade other

workers not to enter the place of employment during labour unrest;

private  employment  agency”  means  a  body  corporate  which  acts  as  an  intermediary  for  the purpose of procuring employment for a worker or recruiting a worker for an employer;

Region” means a Region of Ghana;

regional committee” means a regional labour committee of the Commission;

Regulations” means any of the relevant Regulations made under this Act;

remuneration”  includes  the  basic  or  minimum  wage  or  salary  and  an  additional  emolument payable directly or indirectly by the employer to the worker on account of the worker’s employment;

repatriation expenses” includes

(a) subsistence and travelling expenses of the worker and accompanying members of his or her family during the journey to and from the place of employment, and

(b) subsistence expenses during the period, between the date of expiration of the contract and the date of repatriation;

sexual harassment” means an unwelcome, offensive or importunate sexual advances or request made by an employer or superior officer or a co-worker to a worker, whether the worker is a man or woman;

standing  joint  negotiating  committee”  means  a  body  consisting  of  representatives  of  two  or more  trade  unions  and  one  or  more  trade  unions  and  employer’s  representatives  established  for purposes  of  collective  bargaining  and  is  authorised  by  or  on  behalf  of  those  trade  unions  and employers’ representatives to enter into collective agreements on their behalf;

strike” means an action by two or more workers acting in concert which is intended by them to restrict in any way the service they normally provide to the employer or diminish the output of the service with a view to applying coercive pressure upon the employer, and includes sympathy strike and those activities commonly called a work-to-rule, a go-slow or a sit-down strike;

task worker” means a person who performs a piece of work for a fee;

trade union” includes an association of workers the principal purposes of which are to promote and  protect  their  economic  and  social  interests  and  which  is  registered  under  section  84  and  a federation of trade unions registered under this Act;

undertaking” includes the business of an employer;

worker”  means  a  person  employed  under  a  contract  of  employment  whether  on  a  continuous, part-time, temporary or casual basis;

workplace” includes a place where a worker needs to be or to go by reason of the work which is under the direct or indirect control of the worker;

young person” means a person of or above eighteen years of age but below twenty-one years.

176. Modification of existing enactments

The provisions of an enactment of relevance to this Act in existence before the coming into force of this Act shall have effect subject to the modifications that are necessary to give effect to this Act, and to the extent that a provision of that enactment is inconsistent with this Act, the provisions of this Act shall prevail.

177. Repeals and amendment

(1) The enactments specified in the Third Schedule are repealed.

(2) The  enactment  specified  in  the  first  column  of  the  Fourth  Schedule  is  amended  in  the  manner specified in the second column.

178. Savings and transitional provisions

(1) Despite the repeal of the enactments specified in the Third Schedule, a statutory instrument made under those enactments and in force immediately before the commencement of this Act are continued in force until amended, revoked or otherwise dealt with under this Act.

 (2) The Trades Union Congress and the trade unions (whether affiliated to the Trade Union Congress or not) which are in existence immediately before the commencement of this Act shall not be required to apply for registration by reason only of the coming into force of this Act.

 (3) On  the  coming  into  force  of  this  Act,  and  until  the  National  Tripartite  Committee  provided  for section  110  is  composed,  the  administrative  arrangement  in  existence  on  the  National  Tripartite Committee shall continue to operate.

179. Commencement

This Act shall come into force on the date that the Minister shall by executive instrument appoint. [The Act came into force on the 31st day of March, 2004 under the Labour Act (Commencement) Instrument, 2004 (E.I. 3 of 2004).]


First Schedule


[Section 13]

  1. Name of employer ............................................................................
  2. Name of employee ...........................................................................
  3. Date of first appointment ..................................................................
  4. You are employed as (job title or grade) ..........................................
  5. Your rate, method and interval of pay is............................................
  6. Your hours of work are......................................................................
  7. Your periods of holidays and details of holiday pay are ...................
  8. The conditions relating to incapacity to work due to sickness or injury and the details of sick pay, if any, are .....................................
  9. Details of social security or pension scheme ...................................
  10. Amount of notice to terminate employment to be given by:

(a) the employer ...................................................................................

(b) the worker .......................................................................................

  1. The disciplinary rules applicable to you are .....................................
  2. The procedure for dealing with any grievances or dispute is ...........
  3. Overtime payment, if any .................................................................

Date ............................................


Signature of employer


 Signature of worker



Second Schedule


[Section 111 (1)]

TO .................................................................................. ......................

(Name of employer)

On behalf of the .......................... trade union, I request you to deduct from  the wages of your employees covered by the certificate issued under  section 99 of the Labour Act, 2003, ................................ cedis monthly in discharge of their trade union dues and to pay the amounts to such account as may be directed by the Chief Labour Officer.

This notice does not apply to wages payable by any employer within 7 days of the receipt of the notice.

......................................................................                        Name

......................................................................                     Signature

......................................................................                  Title of officer

....................................................................                 List of members

Third Schedule


[Section 175 (1)]

The Conspiracy and Protection of Property (Trade Disputes) (Cap. 90)

The Trade Unions Ordinance (Cap. 91)

The Trade Unions (Amendment) Ordinance, 1953 (No. 19)

The Trade Unions (Amendment) Decree, 1966 (N .L.C.D. 110)

The Trade Disputes (Arbitration and Inquiry) (Cap. 93)

The Industrial Relations Act, 1965 (Act 299)

The Industrial Relations Act, 1965 (Amendment) Decree, 1967 (N.L.C.D. 189)

The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Decree, 1972 (N.R.C.D. 22)

The Labour Decree, 1967 (N.L.C.D. 157)

The Labour (Amendment) Decree, 1967 (N.L.C.D. 212)

The Labour (Amendment) Decree, 1969 (N.L.C.D. 331)

The Labour (Amendment) Decree, 1969 (N.L.C.D. 342)

The Labour (Amendment) Decree, 1969 (N.L.C.D. 368)

The Labour (Amendment) Decree, 1973 (N.R.C.D. 150)

The Labour (Amendment) Decree, 1976 (S.M.C.D. 33)

The Labour (Amendment) Decree, 1976 (S.M.C.D. 42)

The Public Service (Negotiating Committee) Law, 1992 (P.N.D.C.L. 309)

Fourth Schedule


[Section 175 (2)]

Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) Section 93 is amended by the deletion of the words “and young persons” wherever they occur.

Section 95 (1) is amended by the deletion of the words “and young persons”.

Section 124 is amended by the deletion of the definition of “young person”.


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