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Work From Home has become the trend of the present work environment, faster than expected. This new work arrangement allows employees, traditionally expected to work out of the employer’s office, to perform their job duties from home or other remote location. A Work From Home Policy is a formal document which regulates the terms of remote work. It provides guidelines defining the responsibilities and expectations of both employer and employee. It is sound practice for employers to develop a Work From Home Policy that can help in navigating the nuances of remote work and mitigating risks inherent in offsite access to the work environment. The following are the ten key elements of an effective Work From Home Policy: 1. Scope The scope of the Policy defines the intent and purpose of remote working, as well as the conditions for remote working. 2. Eligibility Some work functions can not be performed remotely. For these and all other cases, the Policy must clearly address the eligibility requirements for work from home, including any circumstances under which employees may be permitted to operate remotely. 3. Attendance, Availability and Dress Code Attendance, conduct and availability expectations of employees must be outlined, including legally compliant working hours and break periods. In an attempt to...

Ghana’s economy is forecasted to shrink by about 5% of GDP in 2020 — this being a baseline scenario impact from the challenges of the pandemic. Businesses are facing a testing time, the like of which many would never have seen before. Owner managed businesses are particularly hard hit in these times as they often do not have cash reserves to carry them through months of potential disruption and forced closure. We are now subject to a threat nobody could have foreseen and thus the Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Act, 2020 (Act 1015) is the need of the hour. On 30th April 2020 the President assented to the Corporate Insolvency Bill, 2019 to bring into force a new legal framework for the regulation of insolvency practitioners as well as provide the avenue to help resuscitate temporarily distressed but viable businesses, entities and establishments from liquidation and its ramifications. The new law provides for the timely, efficient and impartial proceedings for insolvent companies and offers restructuring and insolvency solutions including administration, receivership and liquidation. However, it does not cover companies in the financial services industry such as banks and insurance companies which have separate laws covering their restructuring and insolvency proceedings.   Key highlights of...

The global workspace is fast evolving to normalize virtual work spaces. This change has prompted companies to upgrade their data protection systems to protect sensitive and personal data. More so, all who process personal data must legally recognize the right of an individual to the privacy of his or her communications. Read More...

“A mortgage shall have no legal effect until it is registered.” In 2007, the 2nd Defendant (the “Mortgagor”) mortgaged his property as collateral for a loan to the Appellant (the “Mortgagee”), on consent of the Lands Commission. Both parties failed to register the executed mortgage at the Lands Commission until 2010. Meanwhile, between 2008 and 2009, separate portions of the encumbered property were assigned respectively to the 1st Claimant and the 2nd Claimant (the “Claimants”). Subsequently, the Mortgagee obtained judgement against the Mortgagor for recovery of the loan and attached the property in question in satisfaction of the judgment. The Claimants filed their respective claims which resulted in interpleader proceedings initiated by the Sheriff of the High Court. The High Court held that the Claimants were bona fide purchasers for value without notice of the encumbrance and discharged the properties from the attachment. The Mortgagee appealed to the Court of Appeal and same was dismissed. The Mortgagee further appealed to the Supreme Court, where the fundamental issue was restated as “whether or not the 1st and 2nd Claimants/Respondents in the circumstances of this case were bona fide purchasers for value without notice”. The Court held that in assessing whether a purchaser of land is a...

Ghana has tested 68,591 persons for COVID-19, and recorded 1154 positive cases (1.68%), 120 recoveries (10.4%) and 9 deaths (0.8%) - 22 April 2020. [gallery size="medium" ids="17444,17445"]...

With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a global pandemic, various degrees of disruptions for businesses and their workforce have come into focus. As guidance from the Government rapidly changes, most businesses in Ghana are adjusting to a large proportion of their workforce working remotely, temporary closure of business, modification of operation to reduce Employee workload and working hours and/or time-off as paid leave or unpaid leave as the case may be. In further steering these unchartered waters, key Employer considerations will include the strategies to reduce cost to business and guaranteeing the rights of Employees. Although some businesses may already have crisis management / contingency plans in place in the form of human resources policies on sick leave or remote working for example, adjustments may have to be made to such policies, with this unprecedented set of circumstances. In general terms however, an employment relationship is governed under contract, and where an unforeseen external event (such as the outbreak of a pandemic like COVID-19) occurs, making the contract incapable of performance, the parties may rely on a pre-existing force majeure provision within the contract for the suspension or termination of the employment. Some contracts may go further to include...

“The parties contracted to be governed by the FIDIC Rules. These Rules provide for a dispute resolution process.” The Plaintiff was contracted by the Defendant to put up a 160 – bed regional hospital at Wa in the Upper West Region of the Republic of Ghana. The parties contracted under the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) Rules (“the Rules”). As the work progressed, the Defendant was issued invoices in tranches for work done. The Defendant refused to make payment and terminated the contract. The Plaintiff commenced an action in the High Court claiming payment for work done among others. The Defendant applied and the matter was referred by the Court to the Dispute Adjudication Board (DAB) per the Rules. The DAB determined that the Defendant should pay a sum of money. The Defendant gave a notice of dissatisfaction to the Plaintiff before the expiration of 21 days and the High Court, per the Rules, referred the matter to international arbitration. The Plaintiff appealed the decision to refer the matter to arbitration. The appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal. The Plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court and it considered three main issues: · Whether the DAB process was an arbitration and its...

The Legal Framework chapter of the Oxford Business Group (OBG) Report looks at in-depth legislative investment framework for Ghana. In her Viewpoint article, our Managing Partner, focuses on some key aspects of Ghana’s current legal climate. The Report: Ghana 2020 is available on all OBG platforms and events. Click here to access the Legal Framework chapter and the Viewpoint in full....