The Republic of The Gambia is an African country located in the western region of the continent. It is Africa’s smallest non-island nation. English is the official language. Agriculture represents a large portion of the country’s exports, specifically peanuts. However, The Gambia’s fishing industry has immense potential. Political stability combined with the coastline location create opportunities for agricultural business expansion.
Employment contracts lasting six months or longer are required to be in writing. Employment contracts for employees that are not Gambian nationals are also required to be in writing. Employment contracts can be for a fixed or indefinite term. At least one month before the commencement date of employment, employees are required to submit a medical evaluation. Those medical records are to be kept by the employer. Expatriates require an employment or residential permit as well as an alien identification card that must be renewed annually.
The standard work period is eight hours a day, Monday through Friday. The labor law in Gambia does not specifically address work hour limits, overtime, rest periods or work schedules in general. Gambia imposes requirements and limits around the employment of young workers. There can be strict penalties imposed for violation of these rules. The minimum age of employment is 16.
Sick leave is determined by an employee’s employment contract or a collective bargaining agreement. The rate at which sick leave is paid is also determined by the employment contract.
Eligible female employees receive 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. Six weeks is taken before the child’s anticipated due date and the remaining six weeks is taken after the child is born. The employee’s salary is paid at 100% by the employer. To be eligible, female employees must have worked for the same employer continuously for two years before the leave is taken.
Employees in The Gambia are entitled to a daily minimum wage. Annual bonuses are common but not required.
An employee’s annual leave is determined by what the employee and employer agree to in their employment contract. Annual leave is paid at 100% of the employee’s normal wages. If a public holiday lands during a time when an employee is taking annual leave, the employee is entitled to an additional days’ pay to compensate.
Gambia provides Universal healthcare.
Employment contracts can terminate at the end of the contract period (if for a fixed term), by the employer or by the employee. Either party can terminate an employment contract during the probation period without notice. The probationary period cannot exceed 12 months for skilled workers. An employer can also dismiss an employee for serious misconduct without providing notice. Employers are required to provide the reason for a serious misconduct termination in writing upon request from the terminated employee. An employee dismissed for serious misconduct is entitled to respond to the employer’s allegations. Absent serious misconduct and outside the probation period, an employment contract can be terminated by either the employer or employee by providing notice. The notice period for a fixed-term contract is 14 days. The notice period for an indefinite period contract depends on the tenure of the employee and the salary payment interval. Special rules apply to dismissals due to redundancy.
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