The Authorized Framework and Implications Governing Employment Contracts in Nigeria


It goes with out saying that there are extra individuals in search of work than there are jobs obtainable in Nigeria at the moment. It’s additionally very true that the labour market in Nigeria is among the most exploited on this planet, with many job-seekers signing plenty of very detrimental work engagement supply letters out of desperation.

That is worsened by the truth that in Nigeria, many employers via their respective Human Useful resource departments are mainly legal guidelines unto themselves, failing to take into cognizance the prevailing authorized framework governing employment in Nigeria.

This text thus goals to do the next:-

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– Clarify the correct authorized definition of an worker in Nigeria.

– Spotlight the Authorized Framework and Regulatory companies governing employment in Nigeria.

– Clarify the authorized implications of a number of the commonest employment contract clauses in Nigeria.

– Spotlight the distinction between a Contract of service and a contract for service.

– Spotlight the rights of an worker and employer in Nigeria.

– Spotlight the authorized safety obtainable to affected events to an employment contract.

Who is a employee and worker below Nigerian Legislation?

Below Nigerian labour legislation, a “employee” is an individual that has entered into work below a contract with an employer whether or not the contract is for handbook labour or clerical work or is expressed or  implied or oral/written. 

Nigerian labour legislation particularly exempts individuals it describes as “workers” exercising administrative, govt, technical or skilled features as public officers or in any other case” and goes additional to state that such individuals are ruled by the phrases and situations contained of their contracts of employment.

This alone is a Statutory warning specifically to any individual getting into right into a white-collar/expert labour contract for salaried pay or remuneration to correctly perceive what they’re getting themselves into when signing an employment contract as this will function the Regulatory Framework governing an worker in as far as no conflicts with any related legislation in power arises.

What is the Regulatory Framework and what are the Regulatory companies governing employment in Nigeria?

Employment in Nigeria is particularly ruled primarily by the next legal guidelines and companies:

– The Nigerian Labour Act.

– The Nigerian Worker Compensation Act via which the Nigerian Social Insurance coverage Belief Fund (NSITF) was established.

– The Industrial Coaching Act via which the Industrial Coaching Fund was established.

– The Pension Reform Act via which the Nationwide Pension Fee(PENCOM) was established.

– The Commerce Union Act .

– The Nationwide Industrial Courtroom of Nigeria (NICN). 

– The Structure of The Federal Republic of Nigeria relating to the difficulty of elementary rights and commerce/employee unionism.

What are the rights of an worker and employer?

Whereas an employer has the best to terminate an employment contract with out giving causes for doing so so long as discover is given or a wage is paid in lieu of such discover to the worker, an worker has the rights to :-

– An annual paid go away of 6-14 days.

– Paid sick go away intervals in a yr.

– A discover of termination.

– Communicate on work situations.

– Paid maternity go away intervals.

– Freedom from discrimination, harassment and abuse within the office.

Is Paternity go away offered for below Nigerian Legislation?

No, it isn’t. Paternity go away provisions are solely allowed if offered for in a contract of employment.

How lengthy are maternity go away intervals below Nigerian legislation?

Feminine employees/workers are entitled to a most of 12 weeks of fully-paid maternity miss of which 6weeks have to be taken after beginning. Nursing moms are additionally allowed a half-hour nursing break twice a day throughout working hours.

How lengthy are paid sick go away intervals below Nigerian legislation?

Staff/Staff in Nigeria are entitled to a most 12 – working day paid sick go away interval.

I have been made an employment supply by way of cellphone name which i have accepted and i have been informed to come over to signal an employment contract. What ought to be the contents of this contract?

An employment contract ought to include the next:-

– The identify of the employer.

– The identify of the worker, his tackle, place and date of engagement.

– The character of employment/job description.

– The period of an employment contract whether it is to be for a set time period.

– The phrases and situations referring to work hours, vacation pay and situations for the shortcoming to work as a consequence of illness, damage and provisions for sick pay.

– The discover interval to be given by any get together wishing to terminate the contract and method of termination.

– Remuneration (ideally, this must be web statutory deductions comparable to tax,deductions required below the Pensions Reform Act and Worker Compensation Act amongst others and said allowances).

– Uniquely situation clauses.

How is an employment contract to be terminated below Nigerian Legislation?

Employment contracts are to be terminated by written notices.

What are the discover intervals required below Nigerian legislation to terminate an employment contract?

The discover intervals to terminate an employment contract below Nigerian legislation are :-

– 1day, the place the contract has been operating for 3 months or much less;

– 1 week, the place the contract has continued for greater than 3 months however lower than 2 years;

– 2weeks the place the employment contract has continued for two years however lower than 5 years;

– 1 month, the place the contract has continued for five years or extra.

My boss at the workplace ordered me to work on at least 3 Nationwide holidays even although such an association was not agreed to in my employment contract and paid me for these holidays on which i labored. What’s the place of Nigerian legislation on this?

It’s illegal to pay wages in lieu of an annual vacation.

I merely may not stand the verbal and emotional abuse meted out to me by my employer and as a consequence, i dropped my resignation letter the very day i obtained my pay for final month’s work. The employer has been harassing me over not giving due discover and has been demanding that i refund the pay i received in lieu of discover. What is the place of Nigerian legislation on this?

The legislation is not going to be used as a foundation for illegality. There’s considerable case legislation displaying the place the Nationwide Industrial Courtroom had held that wage for work performed is non-refundable and that in lieu of a discover to terminate an employment settlement, it is just pre-paid allowances and advantages, not core remuneration or salaries, that must be refunded.

Regardless of resigning from my job, my former employer nonetheless has not paid me wage arrears for about 4 months, so i left with the firm laptop computer which the firm HR division has been asking me to return or they will file a police petition in opposition to me. Is what i did unlawful?

What you probably did is to train or place a lien on the corporate’s property in your custody in lieu of salaries owed, however really promoting the laptop computer may give rise to an allegation of unlawful conversion and self-help which isn’t allowed below Nigerian legislation, so the very first thing is to get your lawyer to ship your former employer a Demand letter and the place this fails, file an motion for restoration of your unpaid salaries on the Nationwide Industrial Courtroom. 

I am a Nigerian born and raised overseas that is coming into the nation for the first time to take up a high-paying job with large advantages. Is there any authorized precaution i ought to take earlier than signing an employment contract?

Sure there’s – you aren’t eligible for salaried full-time employment in Nigeria as a result of you haven’t accomplished your necessary 1-year Nationwide Youth Service Corps(NYSC). 

This can routinely render any employment contract you signal void and unenforceable. As an alternative, you must signal what is named a Contract for Companies .

What is a contract for providers and how is it completely different from a contract of service?

A contract for providers is an settlement between an unbiased/self-employed entity (normally with a specialised skilled ability) and an employer characterised by an absence of the management normally exerted by an employer over an worker who’s normally a full-time salaried workers engaged by an employment contract or contract of service.

Contracts for Service are completely different from “Contract Employees” engagements that are normally Third-party full-time salaried-employment agreements brokered by HR companies that outsourced their catalogue of expert employees for a transaction payment or share of the employment contract worth, normally for short-term roles or jobs that may’t be offered on a full-time pay foundation.

Contracts for Service entitle the employed events to strictly remuneration alone and are normally for  specialised providers that may be concurrently delivered to a number of different employers comparable to :-

– ICT (UI/UX, Frontend/Again-end growth providers).

– AML/CFT Compliance/Knowledge Safety Compliance providers.

– In-house Medical personnel providers retained by blue-chip firms.

– Firm Secretarial providers.

– Actuarial/Audit providers.

– Engineering providers.

I just lately discovered out that my employment contract incorporates some very exploitative clauses which do not favour me at all and which have been encouraging my employer to deal with me badly at the work place. I need to sue him on the grounds that they pressured me into signing the settlement in opposition to my free will in the first place understanding i was very determined. Will i have a likelihood in courtroom?

Employment contracts just like the one you described are quite common in Nigeria as a consequence of their “Take it or go away it” clauses that go away little or no room for negotiations. Such contracts are known as  “Contracts of adhesion” or “Requirements kind contracts”.

Such employment contracts normally contain their phrases and situations proposed by one get together, normally the employers, in such a approach that gives little or no or a complete absence of bargaining/negotiating energy on the a part of job-seekers.

Although such contracts aren’t unlawful,they are often overturned by the Nationwide Industrial Courtroom on the only real foundation of unconscionability or battle with any legislation at the moment in place and might consequently be interpreted by the courtroom in opposition to the employers since they drafted the contract and had the chance to take away any ambiguity within the first place.

Apart from the exception painted above, potential workers are anticipated to retain sound authorized counsel to information them on deciphering very clear contracts that give them a good suggestion of what they’re getting themselves into by signing such agreements which might be very binding. Solely illiterate individuals licensed as such by a courtroom may be free from the binding nature of such contracts. 

What are the authorized cures obtainable to me if my employer violates the employment settlement or my rights?

The legislation via the courts can order civil cures within the type of :-

– An award of Damages.

– An order for the Terminal funds as a consequence of any ex-worker or worker.

– The place each events agree, job reinstatement within the case of unfair dismissal/termination of employment.

There are additionally cures in legal legislation for work-related rights abuses. 

Conclusion :- From the above write-up, it may be seen that labour legislation is definitely fairly huge and you can be needing diligent authorized steerage earlier than hiring anybody or working for anybody. 



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