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Labour Law

The Decent Work Act was approved in June 26, 2015 and repeals the old Labour Law (Title 18) and Labour Practices Law (Title 18a). The act is a comprehensive document that sets out the fundamental rights at work, establishes labour institutions and administration, and contains provisions on recruitment and termination of work, minimum conditions of employment, occupational safety and health, workers' compensation, industrial relations and employment agencies.

Wages

Every formal sector (concession, industry, business, company, etc.) worker/employee is entitled to be paid a minimum wage of United States Sixty-eight cents (Us$0.68) per hour – United States Five Dollars – Fifty Cents (US$5.50) per day for work that the employee is employed to perform;

Every domestic and/or casual worker/employee is entitled to be paid a minimum wage of United States Forty-three Cents (US$0.43) per hour – United States Three Dollars – Fifty Cents (US$3.50) per day for work that the employee is employed to perform;

Any provision in a contract of employment for the payment of wages at less than the rate fixed in a minimum wage order shall be null and void. 

Every employer shall clearly display all wage rates applicable to their employees in a readily accessible location in any workplace under their control. 

An employer shall pay wages that are due to an employee in cash, except where the employee agrees in writing to payment of wages by postal order, money order check; or lodgment at a financial institution to the credit of an account standing in  the name of that employee or in the name of that employee and some other  person or persons jointly. 

An employee may revoke or vary a written agreement as to the manner of payment of their remuneration by giving the employer written notice to that effect, where after the employer shall as soon as practicable alter the method of payment to reflect the employee’s most recent written instruction, provided however that an employee may not revoke or vary a written agreement in accordance with this paragraph more than once in any period of six months. 

An employer shall pay wages to an employee at intervals of not more than one month. Whenever an employer pays remuneration to an employee the employer shall also give the employee a written statement explaining: 

  • the gross amount of remuneration earned; 
  • any deduction which may have been made, including the reasons for and the amount of each deduction; 
  • the net amount of remuneration earned; and 
  • such other particulars as may be prescribed. 

Employment Contract

A contract of employment in Liberia shall be for a definite period, indefinite period, or completion of a specific task. A contract of employment may also be full time, part time or casual. The probationary period in a contract of employment, shall not exceed three months. Every employment contract shall contain all such particulars as necessary to define the rights and obligations of the parties and shall in all cases include:

  • the name of the employer and the place of employment; 
  • the name of the employee, the place of engagement and, where practicable the place of origin of the employee and any other particulars necessary to identify the employee; 
  • the nature of the employment and position to be held; 
  • the duration of the employment; 
  • the appropriate period of notice to be given by the party wishing to terminate the contract, which shall not be less than the minimum period of notice provided for in section § 14.6 of the Liberia Decent Work Act, 2015; 4 weeks after 12 months service
  • the rates of remuneration and method of calculation thereof, the manner and periodicity of payment of wages and advances of wages, if any, and the manner of payment of any such advances; 
  • the measures to be taken to provide for the welfare of the employee and any members of the employee’s family who may accompany the employee under the terms of the contract; 
  • the conditions of repatriation, where the contract is for employment outside the Republic of Liberia; and any special conditions of the contract.

Termination of Employement Contracts

An employer may immediately terminate an employee’s employment for grave misconduct which makes it impossible to continue or to resume the necessary relationship of mutual trust and confidence between the employee and the employer; or the employee and other employees of the employer.  An employer shall have a right to terminate employment there is cause to do so under this section irrespective of whether the employment was concluded for a definite period or for an indefinite period.  An employer shall not be required to give notice of termination of employment when he has cause to do so under this section. Without limiting the scope of the preceding provision, the following are examples of actions which may constitute grave misconduct for the purposes of this section: 

  • an employee is unable to carry out their function effectively due to the consumption of alcoholic drinks, narcotics, psychotropic substances or other like addictive substances in the working environment; 
  • an employee has breached the fundamental rights of another employee as they are protected in Chapter 2 of this Act; 
  • an employee has sexually harassed another employee within the meaning of section § 2.8. 
  • an employee has attacked, battered, threatened, or intimidated his or her co-workers or the employer in the working environment or in circumstances which have a sufficient connection to the working relationship; 
  • an employee has either carelessly or intentionally destroyed or let property of the employer be destroyed, leading to significant losses to the enterprise;
  • an employee has either carelessly or intentionally exposed their fellow employees or other persons to risks to their safety and health in or arising from the workplace; 
  • an employee has been absent from work for more than 10 consecutive days or more than 20 days over a period of 6 months without good cause or explanation; or    
  • an employee has breached their obligation to protect and keep secure confidential information of their employer, provided that an employer may not terminate an employee’s employment on this ground if the employee released the confidential information in order to expose serious misconduct or wrongdoing by the employer; or protect the public interest. 

For further details about labour related issues in Liberia, you may visit the Ministry of Labour website at www.labour.gov.lr.

Laws and Regulations

The Decent Work Act is available here.

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