Solomon Kotei, ICU General Secretary
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Casual workers need to insist on receiving appointment letters from employers, says Mr. Solomon Kotei, General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU).

According to him, the availability of written contracts between employers and casual workers helps to prevent frequent conflicts between management and temporary workers.

In an interview with ADR Daily in Accra on the importance of appointment letters, Mr Kotei noted that it remains critical for both the casual worker and the employer to be clear on the terms of engagement and that, he said needs to be clearly spelt out with a written contract letter.

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Casual workers, including those hired through recruitment agencies, often embark on industrial actions due to disagreements with their employers relating to a condition of service.

Section 9(f) of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651) obliges an employer to “furnish the worker with a copy of the worker’s contract of employment.”

Although section 74 (1) of the Act says that “a contract of employment of a casual worker need not be in writing,” Mr Kotei explains that it is always helpful for casual workers to secure from their written employment contract.

“It has always been my advice to workers, especially casual workers to ensure that they are supplied with appointment letters to show that they have been employed, be it for a year, a week, or even a day.

“If they do not have these appointment letters, their employers can say that they were never in their employment, or certain conditions were not part of the agreement, and use it as a means of denying the workers their rights, “Mr Kotei added.

He noted that written contract of employment is essential since they serve as a basic reference point in the relationship between the employer and the employee, adding that it contains the salary level, the tenure of employment and the benefits entitled to the employee”.

“Without the appointment letter you cannot challenge your employer if he or she decides to forgo his duties to you,” he added.

He said the rights denied casual workers due to the absence of appointment letters include non-payment of SSNIT contributions and overtime allowances.

He also disclosed that casual workers mostly affected are those in the financial institutions because the tellers and cashiers are all casual workers who have been outsourced from recruitment agencies.

He gave the assurance that the ICU was taking the necessary measures, including collaborating with SSNIT and Labour Commission, in ensuring that the rights of casual workers are protected.

By: Fred Gadese-Mensah/