What Nigerians Should Know About Labour Act and Your Rights As An Employer
The Nigerian labour act is the primary legislation that deals with the relationship between employers and employees. It governs employment relations between private and public sector employees engaged in manual labour or clerical work under a contract.
However, the labour act does not apply to all classes of labour, it does not include “workers” exercising administrative, administrative, executive, technical or professional functions
Forced labour is illegal.
Nigerians have the right to freewill, which also applies to forced labor under the 1999 constitution. According to the Labour Act, it is illegal to force anyone to work for you and it is illegal to be forced to work.
Under the Labour Act, the government has the authority to force people to work during times of emergency or calamity.
2. Termination of employment
The labour act provides for notices period for termination;
- Employment of 3 months or less can be terminated with a minimum of 1-day notice
- Employment of 3month but less than 2 years contract may be terminated with a minimum of 1-week notice.
- Employment of 2 years but less than 5 years contract may be terminated with a minimum of 2-week notice.
- Employment of 3 months but less than 2 years contract may be terminated with a minimum of 1-week notice.
- Employment of over 5 years contract may be terminated with a minimum of 2-week notice.
Note that contracts of more than 1 week’s notice must be in writing.
3. All employees must have a written contract
Within three months of employment, all employees must sign a written contract. A contract must state what an employee and employer will be paid, the nature of employment, and more. It is important to have this written contract so the employer is protected from any changes in the employment arrangement. If anything changes, the employee must be notified within one month and in writing.
4. Maternity and paternity leave
During maternity leave, all female employers are entitled to at least 12 weeks of full pay. Within the first two months of a child’s birth, Lagos state civil servants are entitled to 10 days of paternity leave. Organizations are free to decide whether to grant paternity leave, as the Labour Act does not provide for it
5. Sick leave, rest time and holidays
The labour act states that every worker is entitled to 12 days sick leave for temporary illness certified by a medical professional.
After a year on the job, every Employee is entitled to a holiday with full payment of at least 6 working days.
An employee is entitled to at least 1-hour of rest if the employee is at work for more than 6hours a day.
An employee is entitled to 1 hour rest of the day if the employee is at work for more than 6 hours a day. A worker is entitled to 1 day of rest if the worker worked consistently for 7 days.
6. Trade unions and other associations
The law allows employees to join trade unions and other labor associations. It is illegal for employers to prevent their employees from joining or attending trade unions.
7. Salary deduction
The employer cannot deduct wages from an employee’s salary unless there is written consent for the deduction. It is illegal to deduct an overpayment from your salary after 3 months from the date you were overpaid. If you have been overpaid, the money can be deducted within 3 months of the payment.
8. Salary payment
If payment is not a legal tender, Any other payment is illegal.
9. Employment transfers
Upon the acquisition of your company by another, your employment contract does not automatically transfer to the new company or employer without your agreement in the presence of a labour officer for it to be valid