Employees facing a sale of the company where they work have an uncertain future. You may not know if you will still have a job at the new company, if you will be laid off, or if your pay and benefits will change. In The Bahamas, employees have certain rights if their company is being sold.
Transfer of Employment to the New Company
If you are fortunate to keep your job when the company is sold, the new owner is now considered your employer. Your employment may be continuous despite the change in ownership. This will depend on the terms of the agreement to sell the company. In some case, the agreement will provide for the old employer to terminate the employment of the workers and to compensate them for the termination. In other cases, the new employer may agree to continue the employment of the employees.. When this occurs, the change in ownership binds the new owner, regardless of whether the company was purchased, sold, merged, consolidated, acquired, leased, reorganised, arranged for the benefit of creditors, or became insolvent. If you have any pending legal claims against the old employer, the claims are transferred to the new employer.
Some employees who are dismissed just before or just after the sale of their company may have the right to redundancy payments. Redundancy has a specific legal meaning referring to an employee's dismissal because:
- The employer has stopped (or plans to stop) carrying on the type of business that the employee worked on;
- The employer will no longer do that type of business in the same location where the employee works; or
- The type of work that the employee does is coming in more slowly or has stopped coming in altogether.
If an employee has been made redundant for one of these reasons, he or she is entitled to a redundancy payment under the law. The payment amount depends on length of employment and position held.
If the employee has been employed for 12 months or more, then he or she should receive two weeks' notice or two weeks' basic pay in lieu of notice. In addition, he or she should receive two weeks' basic pay (or part thereof on a pro rata basis) for each year worked, up to 24 weeks total.
If the employee held a supervisory or managerial position, then he or she should receive one month's notice or one month's basic pay in lieu of notice. In addition, he or she should receive one month's basic pay (or part thereof on a pro rata basis) for each year up to 48 weeks total.
To find out more about employee rights, visit Gonsalves-Sabola Chambers online or call the office at +1 242 326 6400.