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A proposal has been made to government to ratify the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 158 to provide employment security for private sector workers in Ghana.

This Convention, which entered into force in 1985, provides that termination at the initiative of the employers shall be based on valid reason which are proven misconduct, proven incompetence, and operational requirements.

This is contained in a statement signed by the Executive Director of the Africa Center for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), Mr. William Nyarko to mark Ghana’s May Day celebrations today under the theme Sustainable Pension for All: Role of Social Partners.

According to the Centre, when workers were assured of employment security, subject only to good conduct, competence and productivity, and would not be terminated arbitrarily, workers would not only feel they are treated with dignity, but are likely to be loyal, conscientious, and contribute to increased productivity.

ACILA noted that public sector workers enjoy security of employment guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution while in the private sector only unionized workers enjoy this right.

“For the thousands of private sector workers without a trade union to negotiate valid reason termination for them, their continued employment is at the whim and caprices of their employers. They are terminated with a period of notice or payment in lieu without valid reason,” the statement said.

According to ACILA the power of employers to terminate workers’ employment without valid reason is used as a tool for employers to intimidate workers from joining or forming a trade union to protect and defend their interests.

Additionally, it allows employers to avoid payment of compensation to workers when operational challenges lead to downsizing of their enterprises.

ACILA is a research and education, non-partisan, non-profit and non-governmental organisation that, among other things, monitors African States’ compliance with regional, continental and International instruments.

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