MALAWI:   EMPLOYEMENT ACT, 2000                                                     MALAWI SDNP
 56.  (1) An employer shall be entitled to take disciplinary action, other than 
             dismissal, when it is reasonable to do so considering all the 
        (2) For the purposes of this Part a "disciplinary action"  includes- 
             (a) a written warning; 
             (b) suspension; and 
             (c) demotion. 

        (3) Subject to subsection (4), no employer shall impose a fine or other 
              monetary penalty on an employee: 

              Provided that the employer may not pay wages to the employee 
              for the period he has been absent from work without permission 
              of the employer and without reasonable excuse. 

        (4) An employer may deduct an amount of money from an employee's 
             wages as restitution for property damaged by the employee. 

        (5) In deciding whether the employer has acted reasonably regard shall 
              be had to the nature of the violation the employee's duties, the 
              penalty imposed by the employer, the procedure followed by the 
              employer, the nature of any damage incurred and the 

              Previous conduct and the circumstances of the employee. 

        (6) A complaint that disciplinary action is unreasonable may be made 
             to a labour officer for conciliation under section 64 (1). 

       (7) Where the labour officer fails to settle the matter within one 
             month, the District Labour Officer may institute a prosecution 
             under section 64 (2). 

        (8) The right of an employee to make a complaint under this section she 
              be without prejudice to any right the employee may enjoy under a 
              collective agreement. 

for dismissal 
57.  (1) The employment of an employee shall not be terminated by an 
             employer unless there is a valid reason for such termination 
             connected with the capacity or conduct of the employee or 
             based on the operational requirements of the undertaking. 

       (2) The employment of an employee shall not be terminated for reasons 
             connected with his capacity or conduct before the employee is 
             provided an opportunity to defend himself against the allegations 
             made, unless the employer cannot reasonably be expected to provide 
             the opportunity. 

       (3) The following reasons do not constitute valid reasons for dismissal 
             or for the imposition of disciplinary action- 

             (a) an employee's race, colour, sex, language, religion political or 
                  other opinion, nationality, ethnic or social origin disability, 
                  property, birth, marital or other status or family responsibilities. 

             (b) an employee's exercise of any of the rights specified in Part

No. 16 of 1996                     11 of the Labour Relations Act; 
             (c) an employee's temporary absence from work because of 
                   sickness or injury; 

             (d) an employee's exercise or proposed exercise of the right to 
                   remove hirriself from a work situation which he reasonably 
                   believes presents an imminent or serious danger to life or health; 

              (e) an employee's participation or proposed participation in 
                    industrial action which takes place in conformity with the provi- 

No. 16 of 19%                     sions of Part V of the Labour Relations Act; an employee's 
                    refusal to do any work normally done by an employee who is 
                    engaged in industrial action; or 

               (g) the filing of a complaint or the participation in proceedings 
                    against an employer involving alleged violations of laws, regula- 
                    tions or collective agreements. 

Unfair dis-  
   58. A dismissal is unfair if it is not in conformity with section 57 or is a 
          constructive dismissal pursuant to section 60. 
 59. (1) An employer is entitled to dismiss summarily an employee on the 
             following grounds- 

            (a) where an employee is guilty of serious misconduct inconsistent with 
                 the fulfilment of the expressed or implied conditions of his contract 
                 of employment such that it would be unreasonable to require the 
                 employer to continue the employment relationship; 

            (b) habitual or substantial neglect of his duties; 

            (c) lack of skill that the employee expressly or by implication 
                 holds himself to possess; 

           (d) wilful disobedience to lawful orders given by the employer; or 
            (e) absence from work without permission of the employer and 
                  without reasonable excuse. 
      (2) In subsection (1), "summary dismissal" means termination of the 
           contract of employment by the employer without notice or with less 
           notice than that to which the employee is entitled by any statutory 
           provision or contractual term. 

60. An employee is entitled to terminate the contract of employment without 
      notice or with less notice than that to which the employer is entitled by 
      any statutory provision or contractual term where the employer's conduct 
      has made it unreasonable to expect the employee to continue the 
      employment relationship. 
Proof of  
reason for  
61. (1) In any claim or complaint arising out of the dismissal of an employee, 
            it shall be for the employer to provide the reason for dismissal and if 
            the employer fails to do so, there shall be a conclusive presumption 
            that the dismissal was unfair. 

       (2) In addition to proving that an employee was dismissed for reasons 
             stated in section 57 (1), an employer shall be required to show that in 
             all circumstances of the case he acted with justice and equity in 
             dismissing the employee. 

       (3) In the circumstances mentioned in section 60, it shall be for the 
            employee to provide the reason which made the continuation of 
            the employment relationship unreasonable. 

Complaints of 
62.  (1) Within three months of the date of dismissal, an employee shall have 
              the right to complain to the District Labour Officer that he has been 
              unfairly dismissed, irrespective of whether notice has been given or 

       (2) The right of an employee to make a complaint under this section 
              shall be without prejudice to any right that he may enjoy under 
              a collective agreement. 
       (3) Where the District Labour Officer fails to settle the matter within one 
             month, the matter may be referred to the Court in accordance with 
             section 64 (2) or 64 (3). 

for unfair  
61.  (1) If the Court finds that an employee's complaint of unfair dismissal 
            is well founded, it shall award the employee one or more of the 
            following remedies- 

            (a) an order for reinstatement whereby the employee is to be 
                  treated in all respects as if he had not been dismissed; 

             (b) an order for re-engagement whereby the employee is to be 
                   engaged in work comparable to that in which he was engaged 
                   prior to his dismissal or other reasonably suitable work from such 
                   date and on such terms of employment as may be specified in the 
                   order or agreed by the parties; and 

             (c) an award of compensation as specified in subsection (4). 

        (2) The Court shall, in deciding which remedy to award, first 
              consider the possibility of making an award of reinstatement or 
              re-engagement, taking into account in particular the wishes of the 
              employee and the circumstances in which the dismissal took place, 
              including the extent, if any, to which the employee caused or con- 
              tributed to the dismissal. 
        (3) Where the Court finds that the employee caused or contributed to the 
              dismissal to any extent, it may include a disciplinary penalty as a term 
              of the order for reinstatement or re-engagement. 

        (4) An award of compensation shall be such amount as the Court 
              considers just and equitable in the circumstances having regard to 
              the loss sustained by the employee in consequence of the dismissal 
              in so far as the loss is attributable to action taken by the employer 
              and the extent, if any, to which the employee caused or contributed 
              to the dismissal. 

       (5)  The amount to be awarded under subsection (4) shall not be 
              less than- 

              (a) one week's pay for each year of service for an employee 
                   who has served for not more than five years; 

             (b) two week's pay for each year of service for an employee 
                  who has served for more than five years but not more than ten 

             (c) three week's pay for each year of service for an employee 
                  who has served for more than ten years but not more than fifteen 
                  years; and 

            (d) one month's pay for each year of service for an employee who has 
                  served for more than fifteen years, and an additional amount may 
                  be awarded where dismissal was based on any of the reasons set 
                  out in section 57 (3). 

       (6) Where the Court has made an award of reinstatement or re- 
             engagement and the award is not complied with by the employer, 
             the employee shall be entitled to a special award of an amount 
             equivalent to twelve weeks wages, in addition to a compensatory 
             award under subsections (4) and (5).