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Termination of Employment Contracts: Summary Dismissal (PART 2)


As we had previously discussed, there are 3 ways by which employment contracts can be dismissed, these are,

  • Termination on notice;
  • Summary dismissal; or
  • Termination on account of redundancy

Summary Dismissal

Section 44 of the Employment Act provides that summary dismissal shall take place when an employer terminates the employment of an employee without notice or with less notice than that to which the employee is entitled.

Section 44(4) of the Act sets out the following circumstances which may amount to gross misconduct so as to justify summary dismissal of an employee for lawful cause:


  1. if without leave or other lawful cause, an employee absents himself from the place appointed for the performance of his/her work;
  2. if during working hours, by becoming or being intoxicated, an employee renders himself unwilling or incapable to perform his/her work properly;
  3. if an employee wilfully neglects to perform any work which it was his/her duty to perform, or he carelessly and improperly performs any work which from its nature it was his/her duty, under his/her contract to have performed carefully and properly;
  4. if an employee uses abusive or insulting language, or behaves in a manner insulting to his/her supervisors;
  5. if an employee knowingly fails, or refuses, to obey lawful and proper command which it was within the scope of his/her duty to obey;
  6. in the lawful exercise of any power of arrest given by or under any written law, an employee is arrested for a cognizable offence punishable by imprisonment and is not within fourteen (14) days released on bail or on bond or otherwise set at liberty; or
  7. if an employee commits, or on reasonable and sufficient grounds is suspected of having committed a criminal offence against or to the substantial detriment of the employer or the employer’s property.


Employers are required to comply with the above-mentioned requirements of section 41 of the Act before dismissing an employee. Where an employee is summarily dismissed for lawful cause, the employee shall on dismissal be paid all wages/salary, allowances and benefits due to him/her up to the date of dismissal. The employer shall however not pay an employee salary in lieu of notice.


We can advise you on ways of terminating contracts for employers and employees. Please contact us for our services at info@netsheria.com or visit our website at https://netsheria.com/ for more on our services.

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