Annual Leave and Holidays

This page was last updated on: 2021-03-24

Paid Vacation / Annual Leave

A worker is entitled to at least 15 working days fully paid annual leave, after completion of 12 months of continuous service. Continuity of service is not interrupted by mere change of ownership or management of the undertaking.. The worker must have worked for at least 200 days in the particular year to fulfill the requirement for continuous service, in case of irregular work throughout the year. If a worker is absent from work with permission of employer, this period is not considered as interruption. Public holidays and absence from duty due to sickness certified by a medical practitioner, and pregnancy and confinement, do not affect the annual leave entitlement of a worker. Annual leave is fully paid leave and the leave pay includes basic pay including equivalent pay for in-kind benefit and excluding overtime payments.

A worker may be permitted to take his/her annual leave in two approximate equal parts. Every worker has the right to enjoy annual leave without any interruption however an employer, in cases of urgent necessity, may require a worker to interrupt his/her leave and return to work. Employer must compensate the interruption afterwards by any reasonable expense incurred on account of the interruption, and also resumption of the leave by the worker.

Employer must inform the worker at least 30 days prior to the commencement of leave about start of leave. Annual leaves is independent of sick leave certified by medical practitioner due to sickness occurring during the term of annual leave. On termination of employment contract, the worker is entitled to annual leave in proportion to the period of service in the calendar year (except in the case of termination without notice by the employer). Any agreement to relinquish the right to annual leave or to forgo such leave is null and void.

Employers are required to keep a record showing the following particulars: the date of employment of each worker employed by the employer and the duration of the annual leave to which the worker is entitled; the dates on which the annual leave is taken by each worker; and the remuneration received by each worker in respect of the annual leave.

Sources: §20-32 of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651)

Pay on Public Holidays

Workers are entitled to paid Festival (public and religious) holidays. Festival holidays are announced by Ghanaian Government at the start of calendar year (usually 13 in number). 

The public holidays are regulated under the Public Holidays Law, 1989. These days are New Year’s Day (January 01), Independence Day (March 06), Good Friday (April 03, 2015), Easter Monday (April 06, 2015), May Day (May 01), Africa Unity Day (May 25), Republic Day (July 01), Eid-il-Fitr, Founders' Day (September 21), Eid-il-Adha, Farmers’ Day (December 04), Christmas Day (December 25) and Boxing Day (December 26). Muslims holidays vary from year to year, depending on the lunar movement. If a public holiday falls on a non-working day, the next working day would be appointed as a public holiday.

Sources: § 72 of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651), Holidays Act, 2001 (Act 601)

Weekly Rest Days

Workers, except domestic workers in private homes and task-based workers, are entitled to forty-eight consecutive hours (2 days) of rest per week. The weekly rest days are usually Saturday and Sunday. Weekly rest period is independent of public holidays.

Apart from weekly rest day, workers are also granted a daily continuous rest of at least twelve hours duration between two consecutive working days. The daily rest in an undertaking operating on a seasonal basis may be of less than ten hours but of not more than twelve hours’ duration over a period of at least sixty consecutive days in the calendar year.

In case, the normal working hours are continuous, a worker is entitled to at least thirty minutes break in the course of the work, but the break forms part of the normal hours of work; and if the normal hours of work are, in two parts, the break should not be of less than one-hour duration and does not form part of the normal hours of work.

A daily rest of at least twelve continues hours is granted to an employee between two consecutive working days. For the employees working on seasonal basis, daily rest of at least ten hours is provided, which may not exceed twelve hours’ duration over a period of at least sixty consecutive days in the calendar year.

Sources: § 40-44 of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651)

Regulations on Annual Leave and Holidays

  • Labour Act, 2003