EMPLOYMENT LAW: KEY PROVISIONS OF THE NIGERIAN LABOUR ACT
The Nigerian Labour Act is the legal framework that regulates various aspects of employment in Nigeria, including working hours, wages, employment terms and conditions, and health and safety, among others. It is important for businesses, including startups, to comply with the provisions of the Labour Act to ensure that employees are treated fairly, paid decent wages, and work under safe and healthy conditions.
Failure to comply with the act can attract legal and financial consequences, including penalties and fines. Some of the key provisions of the act include the following include
Under Section 61 of the Nigerian Labour Act, the standard working hours in Nigeria are 8 hours per day, and 40 hours per week. This means that employers are required to ensure that their workers do not work more than 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week, except in cases where there is an exemption granted by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.
Furthermore, Section 62 states that where a worker is required or permitted to work for more than the standard hours in a day or week, the worker shall be paid at an overtime rate, which is typically 1.5 times the normal hourly rate.
It is also important to note that under the Act, an employee cannot be required to work for more than 6 hours without a break, and a break of at least one hour must be provided for employees who work for more than 8 hours per day.
Termination and Dismissal
The Nigerian Labour Act specifies the procedures that employers must follow when terminating the employment of a worker. The procedure for termination of employment under the Act requires the employer to give the worker reasonable notice of their intention to terminate their employment or pay the worker in lieu of notice, as specified in the employment contract or the Act. If the contract does not specify this, the notice given should be reasonable and adequate depending on the circumstances.