Managing Partner of Prestige Partners, Lamtiig A. Apanga

Managing Partner of Prestige Partners, Lamtiig A. Apanga, has urged prospective employees to be wary when appending their signatures on contracts for employment.

Speaking on JoyNews’ The Law, the legal expert advised that particular attention must be paid to the terms of termination and leave.

According to him, such terms can be triggered at any given moment, therefore, must be perused.

“You have to pay attention to everything but particularly terms on termination, leave. Those are terms that can be triggered at any time, either to your advantage or disadvantage. If you don’t pay attention to the wordings of those conditions, the terms in your employment condition, it may come back to hunt you.”

He explained that leave is an entitlement enshrined in the Labour Act 2003 (ACT 651). Mr Apanga noted that the contract of employment may fail to state the number of days leave one is entitled to as stipulated by the law.

Section 20 of the Labour Act states that: “In any undertaking, every worker is entitled to not less than fifteen working days leave with full pay in any calendar year of continuous service.”

“The expression “full pay” means the worker’s normal remuneration, without overtime payment, including the cash equivalent of any remuneration in kind,” the Act further adds.

Interacting with host, Samson Lardy Anyenini, Mr Lamtiig Apanga stated that a worker may receive more than 15 working days off but cannot be given anything less than the minimum days.

“You can be given more but not less. You are entitled to a minimum of 15 working days of leave, minus weekends and holidays. If your employer, based on the nature of your work wants to give you 21 days or the position you occupy, you are entitled to 21 days or more, that is fine.

In some places, there is a policy that allows you to accumulate your leave, and others, once you don’t take it, that is it.”

On the show, it was revealed that workers are mandated to enjoy their leave without any hindrance from employers. Contributing to the discussion, Managing Partner of Law Alert Group, Charles Bawaduah noted that it is unlawful to trade one’s leave for extra pay.

“There is this habit where employees negotiate and take some money and stay at work so they don’t go on leave. The law is against that.

The whole thing about leave is to ensure the worker takes some rest. It is not all about money. The worker needs rest to be strong and active to continue to work. So the law says that any agreement to forgo leave is void. It is of no effect,” he explained.

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