Termination of Employment

Contracts of employment like any other contract come to an end, how?

Through resignation, retirement, dismissal (may miss benefits), redundancy, death, normal termination (get benefits) by notice (one month salary or notice of one month)


Dismissal refers discharge or termination from employment at the initiative of the employee (due to gross misconduct)

Reasons to warrant dismissal

  • There must be valid reasons
  • There should be justifiable cause

Things to consider

  • Capacity on qualification – are these alternative penalties (demotions, transfers)
  • Consider the conduct of worker
  • Overall policy of the organization
  • Operational requirements (Is it ore costly? Can you do without him?)

Summary dismissal only done:

  • For wrongs (proven).
  • Stealing company property.
  • Gross misconduct.
  • Concealing proper information about oneself.

Legal criteria employers should follow before termination:

  • There must be reasonable grounds for the same.
  • Reasonable notice or compensation in lieu.
  • Specify the offence.
  • Notify union or labour office.
  • Pay legal entitlements i.e. leave days, certificate of service

Invalid termination of a contract:

  • Union membership/ activities.
  • Absence during maternity.
  • Discrimination on grounds of race, colour, sex, marital status, family responsibility
  • Illness or injury.

Entitlement of terminated worker:

  • Right of defence.
  • Right of appeal.
  • Consider factors as CBA and the law.

Consequences of wrongful dismissal:

  • Payment of accrued rights/benefits.
  • Compensation (if dismissal unlawful i.e. 12 months salary compensation and special and general damages).

Categories not expected to enjoy terminal benefits:

  • Workers under contract for specific periods or tasks.
  • Those on probation or qualifying period.
  • Small firms (family firms).

Termination on account of redundancy:

  • Give reasonable grounds.
  • Inform the ministry of labour and /or union
  • Principle of last in first out

Questions for Review

What are factors to consider before dismissed?

What legal criteria employers should follow before termination?

Which categories of workers are not expected to enjoy terminal benefits?

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