3 May 2018

GHANA: Restrictions on foreign workforce in oil and gas industry

Effective 2 June 2018, the Ghanaian authorities will implement new regulations to encourage more recruitment of the local work force in the Oil and Gas industry. This is means that stricter measures will be implemented with regards to the transfer and hiring of foreign employees. 

Among some of the changes to be introduced, employers will have to advertise a vacancy for a minimum of one week for any open position that they would like to recruit for. This must be done in at least two national newspapers. Going even further, employers will also be required to submit - 3 months prior to advertising the vacancy - the job description and requirements for the relevant position to the Ghana Petroleum Commission, for review.

It is clear that the labour market testing procedures will become more intensive and it will also no longer be possible for foreign employees to apply for junior or mid level positions; foreign employees will only be required for top positions moving forward. This follows a trend in recent months of the tightening of regulations for foreign employees in other countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Australia.

If the labour market testing stage is completed without issue and it is decided that the application can be made for a foreign employee, then the application itself must be submitted at least 3 months prior to the start date. This means that the entire process will take a minimum of 6 months.

How does this affect the client?

Unfortunately this can have a detrimental impact for employers in Ghana dependent on a foreign work force in the Oil and Gas industry. Employers should prepare accordingly for the incoming changes; they should also expect an increase in lead times.

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