A Private Legal Practitioner and Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Human Resource Management Practitioners (IHRMP), Ghana, Mr. Alexander Williams, has questioned certain practices of HR Practitioners and Managers including the practice of employers or HR Managers making deductions from  employees’ salary as a form of punishment or sanction. He advised employers to desist from the practice as it is an illegality contrary to the provisions of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651). He referred to prohibited deductions under the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) quoting the obligatory provision of Section 69 (2) as follows:

‘’An employer shall not (a) impose a pecuniary penalty upon a worker for any cause whatsoever; or (b) deduct from remuneration due to a worker, any amount whatsoever,..’’

He further advised that even for the sanction of demotions, you do not touch the worker’s salary. Questioned further what then to do, he urged employers and HR Managers to find other forms of punishment as stated in the Conditions of Service of their respective organizations.

Mr. Alexander Williams made this call when he facilitated a two-day training programme organized by the Institute of Human Resource Management Practitioners (IHRMP), Ghana in Accra with the theme, ‘’The HR Professional and Legal Compliance – the 4 Cs in Human Resource Legal Relations.’’

Photo: Mr. Alexander Williams making his presentation during the two-day training

Turning his attention to a part of the theme – the HR Professional and Legal Compliance, he reminded HR Managers that the issuance of an offer or appointment letter in itself is not enough. He stated that the employment relationship is only recognised and secured by a written contract of employment duly signed between the employer and the worker within two months of the worker commencement of work, according to Section 13 of the Labour Act which stipulates that:

‘’Subject to the terms and conditions of a contract of employment between an employer and a worker, the employer shall within two months after the commencement of the employment furnish the worker with written statement of the particulars of the main terms of the contract of employment in the form set out in Schedule 1 to this Act signed by the employer and the worker.’’

Concluding his presentation, Mr. Alexander Williams revealed that:

Harmonious employer-worker relationship is very much dependent on an HR Manager with a clear understanding of the Labour Act, 2003 and related laws.’’ In this regard he appealed to HR Professionals in particular to advert their minds to what he termed as ‘’the essential 4 Cs in Human Resources Legal Relations’’ in the discharge of their duties, viz:

  • Contract of employment
  • Collective Agreement
  • Conditions of Service
  • Compliance with the laws

The two-day training programme was highly patronised by practitioners and some trade unions from sectors including mining, banking, hospitality, hospitals, universities and some private and public service institutions.

Mr. Alexander Williams (seated 4th from right) in a group photograph with the participants.