Employers and employees alike should learn about employee termination so that if and when it happens, they follow Bahamian employment law. Generally, under Bahamian law the employer is required to give a specific amount of notice to an employee, pay him a specific amount, and obey other procedures. SeeEmployment Act.
The amount of notice an employer must give an employee about his upcoming termination and the amount of salary or vacation to be paid out varies depending on 1) the reason the employer is terminating the employee and 2) how long the employee has worked for the employer.
If an employee is terminated with a justified reason – meaning the employee committed a fundamental breach of his contract or acted in a manner repugnant to the fundamental interests of the employer – the employer may dismiss the employee without notice and without severance pay. These justified reasons include: theft, fraud, dishonesty, gross insubordination, gross indecency, breach of confidentiality, gross negligence, incompetence, and gross misconduct.
If the employee is terminated for a personal reason not falling within the justified reasons above, then notice and severance pay are due to the employee as follows:
- If the employee worked for less than ninety days, no notice is required and the employer does not have to pay any further compensation except that which has been earned.
- If an employee a non-managerial position has worked from 91 days to 179 days, no notice is required but the employer must pay the employee accrued vacation.
- If the non-managerial employee worked for 180 days to one year, the employer must give either one week's notice or pay one week's salary in lieu of notice, and also pay severance of one week's salary and accrued vacation.
- If the non-managerial employee worked for more than one year, the employer must give either two weeks' notice or pay two weeks' salary in lieu of notice, and must also pay severance of two weeks' salary for every year worked up to 24 weeks' worth and accrued vacation.
- For employees in managerial or supervisory positions, the employer must give one month's notice or one month of pay in lieu of notice, and must also pay severance of one month's salary for every year worked up to 48 weeks' worth and accrued vacation.
Note that if the employee is dismissed because of redundancy (rather than for some other reason such as poor performance), different procedures apply. See Employment Act, Section 26 as amended. An employer should give notice of termination orally to the employee, in writing, or sent to the employee's last-known residence. Employees in The Bahamas have the right not to be unfairly dismissed by employers.
To find out more about employee termination, visit Gonsalves-Sabola Chambers online or call the office at +1 242 326 6400.