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Employment Law in Nigeria

The sources of employment law in Nigeria are:

  • the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) (the "Constitution")

  • the Labour Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 ("Labour Act")

  • Guidelines for the Release of Staff in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry, 2019

  • Employees' Compensation Act 2010

  • Factories Act, Chapter F1, LFN 2004

  • Finance Act 2020

  • National Housing Fund Act, Chapter N45, LFN 2004

  • Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010

  • Trade Disputes Act, Chapter T8, LFN 2004

  • Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019 issued by the National Information Technology Development Agency

  • international conventions, treaties and protocols relating to labour, employment, workplace, industrial relations or matters connected therewith that have been ratified by Nigeria.

The Labour Act is the principal legislation governing employment relations in Nigeria. Its application is limited to employees engaged under a contract of manual labour or clerical work in private and public sectors.

Employees exercising administrative, executive, technical or professional functions are governed by their respective contracts of employment. It is pertinent to note that reliance is sometimes placed on judicial authorities to promote some labour and employment law principles.

In addition, the following also apply; the:

  • Pension Reform Act 2014, which regulates the contributory pension scheme

  • Personal Income Tax Act which regulates the taxation of employees' remuneration

  • Employees' Compensation Act 2010, which regulates the payment of compensation to employees who suffer occupational diseases or sustain injuries arising from accidents in the workplace or during employment

  • Industrial Training Fund Act which requires employers to contribute 1% of their annual payroll to the Industrial Training Fund created by the act

  • Immigration Act 2015, which regulates the employment of foreign nationals

  • National Health Insurance Scheme Act which established the national health insurance scheme

  • Trade Unions Act which regulates the organisation of trade unions and their activities.

Employment Law in Nigeria: Quick Facts
  • The probation may not exceed a time period of three months. Probationary Period
  • An employment contract is defined as an agreement between an employer and an employee, whereby the latter commits to working for, and under the management and supervision of, the former in return for a wage. Employment Contracts
  • The minimum hourly wage is an amount of 30,000 naira. Minimum Wages
  • Employees' normal working time shall be fixed in the employment contract. Working Hours and Days
  • Employees are generally entitled to a lunch break and to a weekly rest. Rest Breaks and Rest Periods
  • Every employee is entitled to 21 days' leave after working for 12 months of continuous service and in the case of people under 16 years old, 12 leave days. Annual Leave
  • Pregnant employees are entitled to maternity leave. An employer must not dismiss a pregnant employee nor send any notice during pregnancy or maternity leave. Maternity Leave
  • Employees are generally entitled to sick leave pay. Sick Leave
  • The employer may not discriminate between working men and women with regard to type of work, amount of wage or salary, employment, promotion, professional qualifications and apparel. Discrimination
  • There is a general, non-specific ban on any discrimination that prejudices equal opportunity employment, equal access to jobs, equal continuity of employment or equal enjoyment of rights, and on discrimination between employees with the same work duties. Disability is the only grounds on which discrimination is specifically prohibited. Equality and Discrimination
  • Employers must provide employees with adequate means of protection against hazards of occupational injury and disease that may occur during work. They also have a range of specific obligations. Health and Safety Regulations
  • In principle, an employer may dismiss an employee at any time without notice on certain misconduct-related grounds. Other reasons of termination will lead to unlawful termination and end of service gratuity. Termination of Employment