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Nigeria. Labour Act,1974
NATLEX database

NIGERIA

LABOUR ACT


PART I - GENERAL PROVISIONS AS TO PROTECTION OF WAGES, CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT AND TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

Protection of wages

Contracts of employment

Terms and conditions of employment

General

PART II - RECRUITING

Recruiters and recruiting generally

Recruiting for employment in Nigeria

Recruiting for employment outside Nigeria

Enforcement provisions

Application

PART III - SPECIAL CLASSES OF WORKER AND MISCELLANEOUS SPECIAL PROVISIONS

Apprentices

Employment of women

Young persons

Domestic service

Labour health areas

Registration, employment exchanges, etc.

Forced labour

PART IV - SUPPLEMENTAL

Records and returns

Administration

Settlement of disputes

Miscellaneous

SCHEDULE - TRANSITIONAL AND SAVING PROVISIONS


An Act to repeal and replace the Labour Code Act and consolidate the law relating to labour.

[Commencement: 1st August, 1971]

PART I - GENERAL PROVISIONS AS TO PROTECTION OF WAGES, CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT AND TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

Protection of wages

1. Manner of payment.

(1) Subject to this section -

(2) An employer may, provide food, a dwelling place or any other allowance or privilege as a part of a worker's remuneration if the food, dwelling place, allowance or privilege is prescribed by law, by a collective agreement or by an arbitration award because it is customary or desirable in view of the nature of the industry or occupation in which the worker is engaged; but in no case shall an employer give to any worker any intoxicating liquor or noxious drug by way of remuneration.

(3) Except where otherwise expressly permitted by this Act, wages payable in money shall be paid only in legal tender or, with the prior consent in writing of the worker concerned, by cheque or postal order and payment or purported payment in any other form shall be illegal, null and void.

2. Agreement as to place and manner of spending wages illegal. No employer shall impose in any contract for the employment of any worker any terms as to the place at which, or the manner in which, or the person with whom any wages paid to the worker are to be expended; and every contract between an employer and a worker containing any such terms shall be illegal, null and void.

3. Wages not to be paid on certain premises. Wages shall not be paid to a worker in premises used for the sale of intoxicating liquor or for the retail sale of goods, except in the case of a worker employed on the premises.

4. Advances.

(1) No employer may make to a worker an advance of wages in excess of one month's wages.

(2) Where an advance in respect of wages has been paid to a worker the minimum period for the recovery of the advance by the employer shall be three months.

(3) No advance in respect of wages shall be paid to a worker who is liable to repay any part of such an advance paid to him previously, except in cases of necessity as so approved by the employer.

(4) No employer shall make any deduction by way of discount interest or any similar charge on account of any advance of wages paid to a worker in anticipation of the regular period of payment of the wages.

(5) The State Authority may by order declare that this section shall not apply to any particular kind of advance paid to any particular class of worker or to all workers.

5. Deductions (including deductions for over-payment of wages).

(1) Except where it is expressly permitted by this Act or any other law no employer shall make any deduction or make any agreement or contract with a worker for any deduction from the wages to be paid by the employer to the worker, or for any payment to the employer by the worker, for or in respect of any fines:
Provided that, with the prior consent in writing of an authorized labour officer, a reasonable deduction may be made in respect of injury or loss caused to the employer by the wilful misconduct or neglect of the worker.

(2) An employer may with the consent of a worker make deductions from the wages of the worker and pay to the appropriate person any contributions to provident or pension funds or other schemes agreed to by the worker and approved by the State Authority.

(3) Upon the registration and recognition of any of the trade unions specified in Part A of Schedule 3 to the Trade Unions Act, the employer shall -

(4) No deductions shall be made from the wages and salaries of persons who are eligible members of any of the trade unions specified in Part B of Schedule 3 to the Trade Unions Act except the person concerned has accepted, in writing, to make voluntary contributions to the trade union.

(5) Deductions may be made from the wages of a worker in respect of overpayment of wages, but only in respect of any such overpayment made during the three months immediately preceding the month in which the overpayment was discovered.

(6) An employer shall, when making a payment to a trade union under paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of this section, include with such payment a list of the employees from whom deductions were made pursuant to paragraph (c) of the said subsection.

(7) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the total amount of deductions that may be made from the wages of a worker in any one month shall not exceed one-third of the wages of the worker for that month.

6. Authority of employer to open shop.

(1) The Minister may, after consultation with the State Authority, give approval to an employer to establish a shop for the sale of provisions to his workers, but no worker shall be compelled by any contract or agreement, written or oral, to purchase provisions at any shop so established.

(2) No employer shall in any place of employment establish a shop for the sale of provisions to his workers (or permit such a shop to be established or kept) otherwise than in accordance with subsection (1) of this section.

Contracts of employment

7. Written particulars of terms of employment.

(1) Not later than three months after the beginning of a worker's period of employment with an employer, the employer shall give to the worker a written statement specifying -

(2) If after the date to which the said statement relates there is a change in the terms to be included or referred to in the statement the employer -

(3) A statement under subsection (1) or (2) of this section may, for all or any of the particulars to be given by the statement, refer the worker to some other document which the worker has reasonable opportunities of reading in the course of his employment or which is made reasonably accessible to the worker in some other way.

(4) If the employer, in referring in the said statement to any such document, indicates to the worker that future changes in the terms particularized in the document will be entered in the document (or recorded by some other means for the information of persons referred to in the document), the employer need not under subsection (2) of this section inform the worker of any such change which is duly entered or recorded not more than one month after the change is made.

(5) If, not more than six months after the termination of a worker's period of employment, a further period of employment is begun with the same employer and the terms of employment are the same, no statement need be given under subsection (1) of this section in respect of the second period of employment, so however that this subsection shall be without prejudice to the operation of subsection (2) of this section if there is a change in the terms of employment.

(6) The provisions of this section in respect of written statements shall not apply if -

8. Medical examination.

(1) Every worker who enters into a contract shall be medically examined by a registered medical practitioner at the expense of the employer.

(2) The State Authority may by order exempt for the requirement of medical examination workers entering into contracts for -

9. Contracts: general.

(1) No contract shall be deemed to be binding on the family or dependants of a worker unless it contains an express provision to that effect.

(2) An employer shall be responsible for the performance of any contract made by any person acting on his behalf.

(3) Except in the case of a contract of apprenticeship, no person under the age of sixteen years shall be capable of entering into a contract of employment under this Act.

(4) No contract shall provide for the payment of wages at intervals exceeding one month unless the written consent of the State Authority has been previously obtained.

(5) No worker shall be bound by virtue of any contract under this Act to answer for the debt, default or miscarriage of any other person.

(6) No contract shall -

(7) A contract shall be terminated -

(8) The termination of a contract by the death of a worker shall be without prejudice to the legal claims of his personal representatives or dependants.

10. Transfer to other employment.

(1) The transfer of any contract from one employer to another shall be subject to the consent of the worker and the endorsement of the transfer upon the contract by an authorized labour officer.

(2) Before endorsing the transfer upon the contract, the officer in question -

11. Termination of contracts by notice.

(1) Either party to a contract of employment may terminate the contract on the expiration of notice given by him to the other party of his intention to do so.

(2) The notice to be given for the purposes of subsection (1) of this section shall be -

(3) Any notice for a period of one week or more shall be in writing.

(4) The periods of notice specified in subsection (2) of this section exclude the day on which notice is given.

(5) Nothing in this section affects any right of either party to a contract to treat the contract as terminable without notice by reason of such conduct by the other party as would have enabled him so to treat it before the making of this Act.

(6) Nothing in this section shall prevent either party to a contract from waiving his right to notice on any occasion, or from accepting a payment in lieu of notice.

(7) All wages payable in money shall be paid on or before the expiry of any period of notice.

(8) If an employer gives notice to terminate the contract of employment of a worker who has been continuously employed for three months or more, the employer shall not be liable under this section to make any payment in respect of a period during which the worker is absent from work with the leave of the employer granted at the request of the worker.

(9) In the calculation of a payment in lieu of notice, only that part of the wages which a worker receives in money, exclusive of overtime and other allowances, shall be taken into account.

12. Common employment not a defence.

(1) It shall not be a defence to an employer who is sued in respect of personal injuries caused by the negligence of a person employed by him, that that person was, at the time the injuries were caused, in common employment with the person injured.

(2) Any provisions contained in a contract of service or apprenticeship, or in an agreement collateral thereto (including a contract or agreement entered into before the commencement of this section) shall be void in so far as it would have the effect of excluding or limiting any liability of the employer in respect of personal injuries caused to the person employed or apprenticed by the negligence of persons in common employment with him.

(3) For the purposes of this section, the expression "personal injuries" includes any disease and any impairment of a person's physical or mental condition arising out of his employment, and "injury" and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly.

Terms and conditions of employment

13. Hours of work and overtime.

(1) Normal hours of work in any undertaking shall be those fixed -

(2) Hours which a worker is required to work in excess of the normal hours fixed under subsection (1) of this section shall constitute overtime.

(3) Where a worker is at work for six hours or more a day, his work shall be interrupted (to the extent which is necessary having regard to its character and duration and to working conditions in general) by allowing one or more suitably spaced rest-intervals of not less than one hour on the aggregate:
Provided that -

(4) In subsection (3) of this section, "rest-interval" means an interruption of work, of which the length is fixed beforehand and during which the worker is free to dispose of his time and is not required to remain at the place of work.

(5) Where, by reason of its connection with a mechanical process or as a result of other circumstances, the work involves continuous strain or is particularly trying in other ways, the worker shall be allowed the requisite number of suitably adjusted and spaced breaks in the work.

(6) In subsection (5) of this section, "break in the work" means a short intermission in the work fixed beforehand which is ordered with a view to allowing the worker to detach himself from his work and which is not to be counted as a rest-interval or, time-off under subsection (3) of this section.

(7) In every period of seven days a worker shall be entitled to one day of rest which shall not be less than twenty-four consecutive hours; if any reduction takes place in the weekly rest-period -

14. Provision of transport.

(1) Where a worker is required to travel sixteen kilometres or more from his normal place of work to another worksite he shall be entitled to free transport or an allowance in lieu thereof.

(2) Where the employer provides a vehicle or vessel for the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, he shall ensure that the vehicle or vessel is suitable, is in good sanitary condition and is not overcrowded.

15. Periodicity of payment of wages. Wages shall become due and payable at the end of each period for which the contract is expressed to subsist, that is to say, daily, weekly or at such other period as may be agreed upon:
Provided that, where the period is more than one month, the wages shall become due and payable at intervals not exceeding one month.

16. Sick leave. Subject to the Workmen's Compensation Act, a worker shall be entitled to be paid wages up to twelve working days in any one calendar year during absence from work caused by temporary illness certified by a registered medical practitioner:
Provided that this section shall not apply unless -

17. Duty of employer to provide work.

(1) Except where a collective agreement provides otherwise, every employer shall, unless a worker has broken his contract, provide work suitable to the worker's capacity on every day (except rest days and public holidays) on which the worker presents himself and is fit for work; and, if the employer fails to provide work as aforesaid, he shall pay to the worker in respect of each day on which he has so failed wages at the same rate as would be payable if the worker had performed a day's work:
Provided that -

(2) Where a worker is employed in any agricultural undertaking on a plantation on a contract of service under which he earns wages calculated by reference to the number of days' work performed in each month of his service, the employer shall provide the worker with work suitable to his capacity on not less than twenty-four days in each month during the whole of which he is so employed; and, if the employer fails to provide work as aforesaid on any of those twenty-four days on which the worker presents himself and is fit for work, he shall pay to the worker in respect of each such day wages at the same rates as would be payable if the worker had performed a day's work:
Provided that, in computing twenty-four days for the purposes of this subsection, account shall not be taken of more than six days in any one week.

(3) Any dispute between an employer and a worker as to the worker's fitness for work under subsection (1) or (2) of this section may be referred to an authorized labour officer, who may take such medical or other advice as he thinks appropriate and whose decision shall be final.

18. Annual holidays with pay.

(1) Every worker shall be entitled after twelve months continuous service to a holiday with full pay of

(2) The holiday mentioned in subsection (1) of this section may be deferred by agreement between the employer and the worker:
Provided that the holiday-earning period shall not thereby be increased beyond twenty-four months continuous service.

(3) It shall be unlawful for an employer to pay wages in lieu of the holiday mentioned in subsection (1) of this section to a worker whose contract has not terminated.

(4) A person who ceases to be employed after having completed -

shall be paid with respect to that period of employment an amount bearing the same proportion to full pay for one week at his normal rate as that period bears to twelve months.

19. Calculation of leave pay and sickness benefits.

In the calculation of leave pay and sickness benefits only that part of his wages which a worker receives in money (excluding overtime and other allowances) shall be taken into account.

20. Redundancy.

(1) In the event of redundancy -

(2) The Minister may make regulations providing, generally or in particular cases, for the compulsory payment of redundancy allowances on the termination of a worker's employment because of his redundancy.

(3) In this section "redundancy" means an involuntary and permanent loss of employment caused by an excess of manpower.

General

21. Offences.

(1) Any employer who -

shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N800 or, for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding N 1,500.

(2) Where an employer is charged with an offence under subsection (1) of this section -

(3) Where it is made to appear to the satisfaction of the Minister at the time of the discovery of an apparent offence under subsection (1) of this section -

the Minister shall proceed against the person whom he believes to be the actual offender in the first instance without first proceeding against the employer.

22. Exemptions.

(1) Nothing in this Part shall apply to a worker who is the father, mother, husband, wife, son or daughter of the employer.

(2) Nothing in this Part of this Act shall apply to any body of persons working on any agreement of co-operation.

 

PART II - RECRUITING

Recruiters and recruiting generally

23. Prohibition of recruiting except under permit or licence.

(1) Subject to this section and section 48 of this Act, no person or association shall recruit any citizen for employment as a worker in Nigeria or elsewhere except in pursuance of an employer's permit or recruiter's licence.

(2) Where a worker -

the Minister may waive the need for a permit or licence under subsection (1) of this section and issue to the worker a certificate to recruit citizens for service as workers in Nigeria, subject to such conditions (which shall be endorsed on the certificate) as the Minister thinks fit.

(3) If any worker to whom a certificate has been issued under subsection (2) of this section is convicted of an offence under section 46 or 47 of this Act, the Minister may forthwith cancel the certificate.

24. Employer's permit.

(1) If any person is desirous of recruiting -

the services of any citizen as a worker in Nigeria or elsewhere, he may apply in writing to the Minister giving the particulars specified in subsection (2) of this section.

(2) The particulars referred to in subsection (1) of this section are -

(3) Where the work is to be performed outside Nigeria, the Minister may require the production of a letter of recommendation from the government of the place where the work is to be performed certifying that the applicant is a fit and proper person to be granted a permit.

(4) Upon receipt of an application under subsection (1) of this section and, if required, a letter of recommendation under subsection (3) of this section, the Minister may grant to the applicant a permit to engage personally or through a recruiter the number of workers required (or a smaller number) within such area as may be specified in the permit.

(5) The particulars of every permit granted under this section shall be published in the Federal Gazette, and no such permit shall remain in force for a longer period than six months from the date of issue.

(6) It shall be an implied term of every permit granted under this section that the workers recruited shall be grouped at the place of employment under suitable ethnical conditions.

(7) Except in the case of workers recruited for the service of a public authority, the Minister shall -

25. Recruiter's licence.

(1) The Minister may license fit and proper persons to recruit citizens in Nigeria for the purpose of -

Provided that any person who has been granted a licence to recruit citizens for employment outside Nigeria may also be granted a licence to recruit citizens for employment inside Nigeria.

(2) A licence granted under this section shall be valid for a period of twelve months from the date of issue, and notification of the grant shall be published in the Federal Gazette.

(3) The grant of a licence under this section may be made subject to such conditions and restrictions as the Minister may think fit; and any such conditions or restrictions shall be endorsed upon the licence.

(4) Every applicant for a licence under this section shall, if so required by the Minister, furnish such financial or other security for his proper conduct as may be required.

(5) The Minister may at any time -

(6) Where a licence is suspended or withdrawn under subsection (5) of this section, notification of the suspension or withdrawal shall be published in the Federal Gazette.

26. Restrictions on recruiting.

(1) No recruiting operations shall be conducted in any area in which recruiting is prohibited by the Minister by order or in a labour health area.

(2) No recruiter shall recruit workers for service with any person -

(3) No public officer shall -

27. Recruiting: miscellaneous provisions.

(1) Every recruiter shall keep in the prescribed form records from which the regularity of every recruiting operation and of his own conduct can be verified and shall produce the records for inspection on demand by an authorized labour officer.

(2) No person shall assist a recruiter in a subordinate capacity in the actual recruiting operation unless he has been approved in writing by the Minister and has been furnished with written authority by the recruiter; and, where a recruiter's assistant commits an offence under this Part of this Act, both the assistant and the recruiter shall be deemed to have committed the offence and shall each be liable on conviction to the penalty therefor.

(3) A recruiter who is the agent or assistant of another recruiter -

(4) No recruiter shall recruit any young person:
Provided that the Minister may in writing authorize the recruitment of young persons whose apparent age exceeds sixteen years with the consent of the parents or guardian for employment in an occupation appearing to the Minister not to be injurious to their moral or physical development, subject to such safeguards relating to their welfare as may be stated in the authorization.

(5) No advance in excess of a total sum of ten naira shall be paid to any recruited worker in respect of wages prior to his employment, and any advance which is made shall be subject to such conditions as the Minister may direct either generally or in respect of any particular case.

(6) In any case where a recruited worker is not engaged at or near the place of recruiting, the Minister may in his discretion require, either generally or in any specific recruiting operation, the issue to the worker of a document in writing containing particulars of -

and containing such other particulars as the Minister may consider necessary

(7) The recruiting of the head of a family shall not be deemed to involve the recruiting of any member of his family.

(8) Where a worker's family accompanies him to his place of employment under section 34 or 44 of this Act, he and the members of his family shall not be separated except at the express request of the persons concerned.

28. Health.

(1) Every recruited worker shall be medically examined under section 8 of this Act.

(2) Where a worker has been recruited for employment at a distance from the place of recruiting or has been recruited for employment outside Nigeria, the medical examination shall take place as near as may be convenient to the place of recruiting or, in the case of workers recruited for employment outside Nigeria, at the last place of departure from Nigeria.

(3) The Minister may empower an authorized labour officer before whom recruited workers are brought under section 33 or 39 of this Act to permit the departure prior to medical examination of any such worker in whose case the officer is satisfied that -

(4) The Minister may in his discretion (and particularly when the journey of any recruited workers is of such a duration and takes place under such conditions that the health of the workers is likely to be affected) require any recruited workers to be examined both before departure and after arrival at the place of employment.

(5) The Minister shall ensure that all necessary measures are taken for the acclimatization and adaptation of recruited workers and for their immunization against disease, and may issue such directions in that behalf as he may think fit, either generally or in respect of any particular recruiting operation.

29. Transport.

(1) The recruiter or employer shall provide transport to the place of employment, except in so far as an authorized labour officer may in any particular case certify that the provision of transport is impossible for the whole or any part of the journey.

(2) The Minister shall issue such directions as he may consider necessary to ensure that -

(3) Where recruited workers have to make long journeys in groups to the place of employment, they shall be conveyed by a responsible person approved by an authorized labour officer.

(4) The Minister may make regulations prescribing the conditions under which recruited workers may be transported by road, sea or air and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, any such regulations may make provision for compliance with Nigerian immigration laws and for the recovery of any expenses incurred by the Federal Government in repatriating any worker.

30. Expenses and maintenance.

(1) The expenses of the journey of recruited workers to the place of employment, including all expenses incurred for their welfare during the journey, shall be borne by the recruiter or the employer.

(2) The recruiter shall furnish recruited workers with everything necessary for their welfare during the journey to the place of employment, including particularly, as local circumstances may require, adequate and suitable supplies of food, drinking water, fuel, cooking utensils, clothing and blankets.

(3) The Minister may issue directions, either generally or in respect of any particular recruiting operation, for the proper implementation of subsection (2) of this section.

(4) The Minister may by order apply all or any of the provisions of this section or any directions issued thereunder, either generally or in any particular case, to the recruitment of workers under a certificate issued pursuant to section 23 of this Act and to the worker-recruiter and employer concerned.

31. Repatriation.

(1) Any recruited worker who -

shall be repatriated at the expense of the recruiter or employer

(2) Where the family of a recruited worker accompanies him under section 34 or 44 of this Act, sections 27 (6) and 28 of this Act (and any requirements or directions thereunder) shall apply to the family as nearly as may be; and, if the worker-

32. Capitation fee. Upon the completion of any agreement for a contract of work by a recruited worker, there shall be paid to an authorized labour officer for the Federal Government by the employer or his agent in respect of the worker a capitation fee of such sum as may be fixed, either generally or in respect of any particular recruiting operation, by the Minister by order.

Recruiting for employment in Nigeria

33. Procedural requirements.

(1) No citizen recruited for employment in Nigeria shall be employed until he has -

(2) An authorized labour officer shall, before issuing a certificate under subsection (1) (b) of this section, satisfy himself that the contract conforms with Part I of this Act and that the recruited worker -

34. Right to be accompanied by family.

(1) Any citizen who is recruited for service in Nigeria may be accompanied to his place of employment and attended during his employment there by such members of his family (not exceeding two wives and such of his children as are under the age of sixteen years) as he wishes to take with him.

(2) No person shall induce or attempt to induce any recruited worker not to require to be accompanied by members of his family under subsection (1) of this section, or prevent or attempt to prevent those members from so accompanying the worker.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, the Minister may by order, either generally or in respect of any particular recruiting operation, limit the number of wives and children who may accompany a recruited worker.

35. Deferment of wages.

(1) The Minister may in his discretion allow the payment of wages due to a recruited worker who is engaged for employment within Nigeria to be deferred until the completion of his contract:
Provided that not more than one-half of each month's wages shall be so deferred.

(2) Where an employer is authorised to defer the wages of a worker under subsection (1) of this section -

Recruiting for employment outside Nigeria

36. Power of prohibition. The National Council of Ministers may by order prohibit the recruitment or engagement of citizens for employment outside Nigeria in any territory named in the order.

37. International agreements. Where there is in existence a treaty, convention or other international agreement between Nigeria and any other country relating to the recruitment of citizens for employment outside Nigeria, the National Council of Ministers may by order give the force of law to all or any of the provisions of the agreement in place of or in addition to sections 38 to 44 of this Act or any particular provisions of those sections.

38. Duration of contract and return passages.

(1) The period of a foreign contract shall be in accordance with the terms of any agreement entered into between Nigeria and any other country for the purpose of the recruitment in Nigeria of Nigerian workers for service in the country concerned, and subject thereto, a foreign contract shall not be for a longer period than-

(2) Within thirty days after the expiration of a foreign contract, the employer to whom the employer's permit was granted under section 24 of this Act (or the agent of that employer) shall offer to provide the worker with a return passage for himself and his family, if any, to the place of recruitment, together with proper accommodation and maintenance on the journey.

(3) If, while a worker under a foreign contract is on a journey or voyage -

39. Procedure prior to leaving Nigeria.

(1) No citizen shall leave Nigeria under a foreign contract to serve as a worker outside Nigeria unless he has been -

(2) Before issuing a certificate under subsection (1) (b) of this section, an authorized labour officer shall satisfy himself that -

(3) An administrative officer shall not give a certificate or his consent under subsection (2) (b) of this section unless he is reasonably satisfied with regard to the citizen concerned -

40. Special terms and conditions of contract.

(1) Every foreign contract shall, in addition to any terms or conditions required to be inserted by any other provision of this Act, contain terms or conditions -

(2) Every foreign contract shall be made in triplicate and entered into in the presence of an authorized labour officer, who shall -

(3) The Minister shall ensure that a copy of every foreign contract is transmitted as soon as may be to the government of the territory in which the place of employment is situated.

(4) An authorized labour officer shall keep a register of -

and the register (or a copy of any entry therein certified as a true copy by that or another authorized labour officer) shall be received in any court as evidence of the facts stated therein without further proof.

41. Surrender of permits. Where in relation to a foreign contract -

the permit shall be surrendered to an authorized labour officer for transmission forthwith to the Minister.

42. Embarkation check. Where a foreign contract is entered into before an authorized labour officer under section 40 (2) of this Act -

43. Exemption from customs on repatriation. The personal effects and tools belonging to workers (or members of their families) who -

shall be exempt from customs duties.

44. Right to be accompanied by family at employer's expense. Where a worker is recruited for employment outside Nigeria, it shall be the duty of the employer to provide facilities at his own expense to enable the worker's family (not exceeding two wives and such of his children under the age of sixteen years as he wishes to accompany him) to accompany him to the place of employment and to remain there for the full duration of the contract:

Provided that, if the contract is for less than one year, provision may be made for the family to remain for less than the full duration of the contract.

Enforcement provisions

45. Inducing recruiting by fraud, etc.

(1) No person shall by fraud, falsehood, intimidation, coercion or misrepresentation induce any worker to enter into a contract under this Part, and any contract entered into by reason of any such inducement shall be void, save that the employer or his agent shall be liable to pay wages due under the contract and to provide for the return to his place of abode of any worker engaged thereunder, together with any members of his family who have accompanied him.

(2) If the employer or his agent fails to pay the wages in question or to provide for the return of the worker and the members of his family in accordance with subsection (1) of this section, the wages shall be paid, and the expenses of the return shall be borne, by the Federal Government, and may be recovered by that Government from the employer or his agent by deduction from any deposit or security given under section 24 (7) of this Act or by civil proceedings.

46. Neglect or ill-treatment.

(1) Any employer who neglects or ill-treats any worker whom he has contracted to employ in accordance with this Part of this Act shall be guilty of an offence, and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N500 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or to both.

(2) Where an employer or his agent is convicted of an offence under subsection (1) of this section, the convicting court shall report the case to the Minister, who may by notice in the Federal Gazette cancel any contract into which the employer or his agent may have entered in accordance with this Part of this Act.

(3) Any cancellation under subsection (2) of this section shall have effect from the date of the publication of the relevant notice.

(4) Every worker whose contract has been cancelled under subsection (2) of this section shall be maintained and conveyed to his place of abode (together with any members of his family who have accompanied him) at the expense of the Federal Government, and all sums reasonably expended upon the maintenance and conveyance, together with any wages due to the worker under the cancelled contract, may be recovered from the employer or his agent by deduction from any deposit or security given under section 24 (7) of this Act or by civil proceedings.

(5) The cancellation of a contract under this section shall not prevent the taking of legal proceedings in respect of the contract under this or any other enactment.

47. Other offences.

(1) Any person who -

shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N2,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or to both.

(2) Any employer or employer's agent who fails to offer a return passage in compliance with section 38 (2) of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N200; and any repatriation expenses incurred by the Federal Government as a result of the failure may be recovered by that Government from the employer or employer's agent by deduction from any deposit or security given under section 24 (7) of this Act or by civil proceedings.

Application

48. Application.

(1) This Part is additional to and not in derogation of Part I of this Act but shall not apply to the recruiting of citizens for service as workers in Nigeria if the recruiting -

and is not undertaken by a professional recruiter, that is to say, a person who holds a recruiter's licence.

(2) The Minister may make regulations applying this Part of this Act (with such modifications, if any, as he thinks appropriate) to labour contractors that is to say, persons who undertake to provide another party with the services of workers while themselves remaining the employers of the workers in question.

 

PART III - SPECIAL CLASSES OF WORKER AND MISCELLANEOUS SPECIAL PROVISIONS

Apprentices

49. Contracts of apprenticeship.

(1) The parent or, in the case of an orphan, the guardian of a young person above the age of twelve years and under the age of sixteen years may, with the consent of that person testified by his execution of a written contract of apprenticeship, apprentice that person to an employer to train him or have him trained systematically for a trade or employment in which art or skill is required, or as a domestic servant, for any term not exceeding five years.

(2) Where a young person above the age of twelve years and under the age of sixteen years is without known parents or a guardian, an authorized labour officer may authorize the apprenticeship of that person and appoint some fit and proper person to execute the written contract of apprenticeship and act generally as guardian of that young person.

(3) Any young person of the age of sixteen years or above not being under any contract of apprenticeship may apprentice himself for any term not exceeding five years to any trade or employment in which art or skill is required.

(4) The age of any person may, where no register of births is available, be enquired into and determined by the authorized labour officer before whom a contract of apprenticeship is attested in accordance with section 50 of this Act; and the age so determined shall be conclusive for the purposes of sections 49 to 53 of this Act.

(5) Every contract of apprenticeship may, with the consent of the parties, be assigned by the employer.

(6) A magistrate's court (or, in a State where a magistrate's court has no civil jurisdiction, a district court) shall have power and jurisdiction to hear and determine any question arising out of a contract of apprenticeship or any dispute between any of the parties to such a contract, whether arising from breach of the contract or otherwise, and for that purpose shall have all the powers conferred upon a magistrate's court or district court, as the case may be, by sections 80 to 85 of this Act.

50. Attestation.

(1) Every contract of apprenticeship and every assignment thereof shall be in writing; and no such writing shall be valid unless attested by and made with the approval of an authorized labour officer certified in writing under his hand on the contract or assignment.

(2) Before attesting any contract of apprenticeship, an authorized labour officer shall -

51. Retention of apprentice after expiry of contract. If any person with whom an apprentice has been placed, retains the apprentice in his service after the stipulated period of service has expired without any agreement between the parties for the payment of wages, the apprentice shall be entitled to recover from the person so retaining him wages at the ordinary current rate payable for service similar to that performed by the apprentice.

52. Regulations.

The Minister may make regulations providing for -

53. Offences.

(1) Any person who removes or attempts to remove any apprentice who is above the age of twelve years and under the age of sixteen years from Nigeria without the authority in writing of the Minister shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N500 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or to both.

(2) Any person who employs an apprentice for more than six months on a contract which has not been attested under section 50 of this Act or induces or attempts to induce any apprentice to quit the service of his employer shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N200 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both.

Employment of women

54. Maternity protection.

(1) In any public or private industrial or commercial undertaking or in any branch thereof, or in any agricultural undertaking or any branch thereof, a woman -

(2) Subsection (1) (c) of this section shall have effect notwithstanding any law relating to the fixing and payment of a minimum wage.

(3) No employer shall be liable, in his capacity as an employer, to pay any medical expenses incurred by a woman during or on account of her pregnancy or confinement.

(4) Where a woman -

then, until her absence has exceeded such a period (if any) as may be prescribed, no employer shall give her notice of dismissal during her absence or notice of dismissal expiring during her absence.

(5) In subsection (1) (d) of this section, "child" includes both a legitimate and an illegitimate child.

55. Night work.

(1) Subject to this section, no woman shall be employed on night work in a public or private industrial undertaking or in any branch thereof, or in any agricultural undertaking or any branch thereof.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to women employed as nurses, in any public or private industrial undertaking or in any agricultural undertaking, nor to women holding responsible positions of management who are not ordinarily engaged in manual labour; and in any proceedings brought under or in connection with the said subsection (1) of this section, it shall be a good defence if it is shown to the satisfaction of the court trying the proceedings that -

(3) In this section, "night" means -

(a) as respects industrial undertakings, a period of at least eleven (or, where an order under subsection (4) below applies, ten) consecutive hours including the interval between ten o'clock in the evening and five o'clock in the morning; and

(b) as respect agricultural undertakings, a period of at least nine consecutive hours including the interval between nine o'clock in the evening and four o'clock in the morning.

(4) The Minister may by order permit the eleven-hour period mentioned in subsection (3) (a) of this section to be reduced to ten hours on not more than sixty days in any one year in respect of any industrial undertaking if he is satisfied that the undertaking is influenced by the season of the year or that the reduction is necessary because special circumstances.

(5) The Minister may by order exclude from the application of this section, those women covered by a collective agreement in force which permits night work for women, but before making such an order the Minister shall satisfy himself that adequate provision exists for the transportation and protection of the women concerned.

56. Underground work.

(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, no woman shall be employed on underground work in any mine.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to -

57. Regulations.

The Minister may make regulations prohibiting or restricting, subject to such conditions as may be specified in the regulations, the employment of women in any particular type or types of industrial or other undertakings or in any process or work carried on by such undertakings.

58. Offences.

(1) Any person, who, being the proprietor, owner or manager of any industrial, commercial or agricultural undertaking, contravenes any provision of section 54 of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N200 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months, or to both.

(2) Any person who employs a woman in contravention of section 55 (1) or 56 (1) of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N100 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one month, or to both.

Young persons

59. General.

(1) No child shall -

(2) No young person under the age of fifteen years shall be employed or work in any industrial undertaking:

Provided that this subsection shall not apply to work done by young persons in technical schools or similar institutions if the work is approved and supervised by the Ministry of Education (or corresponding department of government) of a State.

(3) A young person under the age of fourteen years may be employed only-

Provided that, save as may be otherwise provided by any regulations made under section 65 of this Act, this subsection shall not apply to a young person employed in domestic service.

(4) No young person under the age of sixteen years shall be employed in circumstances in which it is not reasonably possible for him to return each day to the place of residence of his parent or guardian except -

Provided that, save as may be otherwise provided by any regulations made under section 65 of this Act, this subsection shall not apply to a young person employed in domestic service.

(5) No young person under the age of sixteen years shall be employed -

(6) No young person shall be employed in any employment which is injurious to his health, dangerous or immoral; and, where an employer is notified in writing by the Minister (either generally or in any particular case) that the kind of work upon which a young person is employed is injurious to the young person's health, dangerous, immoral or otherwise unsuitable, the employer shall discontinue the employment, without prejudice to the right of the young person to be paid such wages as he may have earned up to the date of discontinuance.

(7) No person shall continue to employ any young person under the age of sixteen years after receiving notice either orally or in writing from the parent or guardian of the young person that the young person is employed against the wishes of the parent or guardian:

Provided that this subsection shall not apply to a young person employed under a written contract entered into with the approval of an authorized labour officer.

(8) No young person under the age of sixteen years shall be required to work for a longer period than four consecutive hours or permitted to work for more than eight working hours in any one day:

Provided that, save as may be otherwise provided by any regulations made under section 65 of this Act, this subsection shall not apply to a young person employed in domestic service.

60. Night work.

(1) Subject to this section, no young person shall be employed during the night.

(2) Young persons over the age of sixteen years may be employed during the night in the following industrial undertakings or activities which by reason of the nature of the process are required to be carried on continuously day and night, that is to say -

(3) Young persons over the age of sixteen may be employed during the night in cases of emergency which -

(4) In this section, "night" means a period of at least twelve consecutive hours, including -

(5) For the purposes of subsection (4) (b) of this section, the Minister may prescribe different intervals for different areas, industries, undertakings or branches of industries or undertakings, but shall consult the employers' and workers' associations or organizations concerned before prescribing an interval beginning after eleven o'clock in the evening.

61. Shipping.

(1) No young person under the age of fifteen years shall be employed in any vessel, except where -

(2) No young person shall be employed in a vessel as a trimmer or stoker:

Provided that, where a trimmer or stoker is required in a place in which only young persons are available, young persons of and over the age of sixteen years may be employed in that capacity, so however that two such young persons shall be engaged and employed in the place of each trimmer or stoker required.

(3) No young person shall be employed in any vessel other than a vessel in which only persons of his family arc employed unless he is in possession of a certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner to the effect that he is fit for the employment or work; and, where such a, certificate is issued, then -

(4) There shall be included in every agreement with the crew of a vessel a list of young persons who are members of the crew, together with particulars of the dates of their births; and, in the case of a vessel in which there is no such agreement, the master shall keep a register (which shall at all times be open to inspection by an authorized labour officer or customs officer) of such young persons as may be employed in the vessel with particulars of the dates of their births and the dates on which they became or ceased to be members of the crew.

(5) In this section -

"customs officer" means any person employed in the Department of Customs and Excise, or for the time being performing duties in relation to customs and excise;

"vessel'' includes floating craft of every description except ships of war

62. Register of young persons in industrial undertakings.

Every employer of young persons in an industrial undertaking shall keep a register of all young persons in his employment with particulars of their ages, the date of employment and the conditions and nature of their employment and such other particulars as may be prescribed, and shall produce the register for inspection when required by an authorized labour officer.

63. Regulations. The Minister may make regulations -

64. Offences.

(1) Any person who employs a young person in contravention of sections 59 to 62 of this Act or any regulations made under section 63 of this Act, the proprietor, owner and manager of any undertaking in which a young person is so employed and any parent or guardian of a young person who permits the young person to be so employed shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N100

(2) If in the case of a charge for an offence under subsection (1) of this section it is alleged by the person conducting the prosecution that the person in respect of whom the offence was committed was under the age of twelve, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen or eighteen years at the date of commission of the alleged offence, the magistrate or other person presiding at the hearing shall, after such enquiry as he may think necessary and after hearing any evidence that may be tendered by any party to the proceedings, determine the age of the young person; and any such determination shall be final.

Domestic service

65. Regulations. The Minister may make regulations providing for -

Labour health areas

66. Labour health areas. Where the Minister is satisfied that ah industrial or agricultural undertaking is situated in an area which, having regard to the existing medical and health conditions and facilities, water supplies and communications, is remote and isolated, he may by order declare the area a labour health area; and, during the period of employment of any worker in a labour health area, the employer shall provide such facilities and make such arrangements as may be specified by regulations made under section 67 of this Act, and shall otherwise comply with the requirements of any such regulations.

67. Regulations. The Minister, in respect of labour health areas or any particular labour health area, may make regulations for -

Registration, employment exchanges, etc.

68. Registration of employers.

(1) The Minister may make regulations for the registration of employers.

(2) Regulations made under this section may -

69. Labour schemes.

(1) Where the Minster has agreed with the representatives of the employers' and workers' organisations within an industry or area as to the desirability of establishing a scheme for labour within that industry or area he may make an order, if he thinks fit, in respect of the industry or area in question.

(2) Where an order is made under subsection (1) of this section in respect of an industry or area -

(3) An authorized labour officer, where he is satisfied than an employer who has not applied for registration in pursuance of subsection (2) (a) of this section is a person who ought to have done so, may by notice in writing call upon the employer to apply accordingly.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (2) (b) of this section, an industrial worker -

(a) shall be presumed to be under the age of fifty-five years unless he satisfies an authorized labour officer to the contrary; and

(b) if he is present in an area to which an order made under subsection (1) of this section applies, shall be presumed to be ordinarily resident in that area unless he satisfies an authorized labour officer that he is residing there for some temporary purpose only.

(5) The Minister may make regulations for the purposes of this section -

70. Employment exchanges. The Minister may make regulations -

71. Fee-charging employment agencies.

(1) No person shall establish or operate a fee-charging employment agency save with the written consent of the Minister.

(2) The Minister may make regulations providing for the supervision and control of fee-charging employment agencies and prescribing the scale of fees which they may charge.

(3) In this section, "fee-charging employment agency" means -

but excludes any organisation for the production of newspapers (or other publications) which are not produced wholly or mainly for the purpose of acting as intermediaries between employers and workers.

72. Offences.

(1) Any person who with intent to deceive -

shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N 1,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or to both.

(2) Any employer or industrial worker who contravenes section 69 (2) of this Act, any employer who fails to comply with a notice under section 69 (3) of this Act and any person who contravenes section 71 (1) of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N500 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both:

Provided that, in any proceedings under this section for such a contravention or for a failure to comply with such a notice, it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that the contravention or failure was due to circumstances beyond his control.

(3) In any proceedings under this section in relation to an industry or area, it shall be presumed until the contrary is proved that the accused -

Forced labour

73. Prohibition of forced labour.

(1) Any person who requires any other person, or permits any other person to be required, to perform forced labour contrary to section 31 (1) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N 1,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both.

(2) Any person who, being a public officer, puts any constraint upon the population under his charge or upon any members thereof to work for any private individual, association or company shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N200 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both.

74. Labour required in emergencies and for communal obligations.

(1) The Minister may make regulations regulating the requisition, of labour of the kind defined in section 31 (2) (c) and (d) (i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (that is to say, labour required in the event of any emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community, and labour that forms part of normal communal or other civil obligations).

(2) Regulations made under subsection (1) of this section -

(3) Subject to this section, the prescribed authority may require the inhabitants of any town or village subject to its jurisdiction to provide labour for any of the following purposes -

(4) No labour shall be required under subsection (3) of this section unless -

(5) In subsections (3) and (4) of this section "town or village" excludes a township but includes any area (other than a township) declared by the Minister by order to be a town or village for the purposes of this section.

(6) Any person who does not wish to execute his share of any labour required under subsection (3) of this section may be excused from doing so on payment to the prescribed authority of such sum per day, while the labour is being done, as represents the current daily wage for unskilled labour.

(7) Nothing in this section shall be taken to authorize the exaction from any person of any work or service for which that person does not offer himself voluntarily where apart from this section the exaction of that work or service would be illegal.

 

PART IV - SUPPLEMENTAL

Records and returns

75. Records.

(1) It shall be the duty of every employer to keep such records of wages and conditions of employment as are necessary to show that this Act is being complied with.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, every employer shall keep in respect of each of his workers to whom a statement has been given under section 7 of this Act, a record showing -

(3) Records kept pursuant to subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be retained for three years after the time to which they refer.

(4) Any employer who -

shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N200.

76. Returns.

(1) The Minister may require returns and statistics, whether periodical or otherwise, to be furnished by employers as to the number of persons employed by them in any particular class of employment and as to the rates of remuneration and other conditions in that or any other class of employment.

(2) Any employer who fails to furnish any returns or statistics which he is required to furnish under subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N200.

Administration

77. Authorized labour offices.

(1) The Minister may by writing under his hand authorize -

to be an authorized labour officer for the purposes of this Act.

(2) An authorization under subsection (1) of this section may -

(3) No authorized labour officer, except in so far as is necessary for the purposes of a complaint or prosecution under this Act, shall publish or disclose to any person the details of any manufacturing, commercial or working process which may come to his knowledge in the course of his duties.

(4) An authorized labour officer shall treat as absolutely confidential the source of any complaint alleging a contravention of this Act, and where he visits an employer's premises in consequence of such a complaint, shall give no indication to the employer or the employer's representative that the visit was made in consequence of the "complaint.

78. Powers of authorized labour officers.

(1) In addition to any other powers conferred by this Act, an authorized labour office may for the purpose of facilitating or ensuring the proper operation of this Act -

(2) Any person directed to take remedial action under subsection (1) (k) of this section may, if he is dissatisfied with the direction, within fourteen days or within any period stated in the direction, whichever is the less, appeal in writing to the Minister, who may refer the case for advice to any person or persons considered by him to be suitable and whose decision shall be final.

(3) Any person who -

(a) obstructs an authorized labour officer in the exercise of his functions under this section or any other provision of this Act; or

(b) fails to comply with a direction under subsection (1) (k) of this section (no appeal having been made under subsection (2) of this section or any such appeal having been disposed of); or

(c) fails to comply with a direction under subsection (1) (l) of this section, shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N 1,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both.

79. Delegation of functions.

(1) Subject to this section, the Minister may delegate any of his functions under this Act -

(2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to the power of delegation conferred by that subsection or to any power to make regulations or orders.

(3) A delegation under subsection (1) of this section may be made subject to such conditions and limitations, if any as the Minister thinks fit.

(4) The delegation of a function under subsection (1) of this section shall not prevent the Minister from continuing to exercise the function himself if he sees fit.

Settlement of disputes

80. Jurisdiction.

(1) A magistrate's court (or, in a State where a magistrate's court has no civil jurisdiction, a district court) shall have jurisdiction to hear complaints under section 81 of this Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the jurisdiction to hear complaints conferred by subsection (1) of this section, the Chief Judge of a State with the concurrence of the State Authority may by order confer jurisdiction to hear such complaints on area courts or customary courts in the State or part of the State.

81. Labour complaints.

(1) Where -

any party to the contract feeling himself aggrieved may make complaint to a court having jurisdiction, which may thereupon issue a summons to the party complained against (the aggrieved party, the court, the party complained against and the complaint being hereafter in this section and in sections 82 to 85 of this Act referred to as "the complainant", "the court", "the respondent" and "the complaint" respectively).

(2) If the complainant claims an amount beyond the civil jurisdiction of the court, the court shall forward the complaint to the nearest court having jurisdiction.

(3) The court may exercise jurisdiction in the complaint if the respondent is in its area of jurisdiction at the time the complaint is made, whether or not the grounds of the complaint arose within that area.

(4) If at any time after the laying of the complaint it appears to the court by information on oath that the respondent is about to abscond, the court may cause him to be arrested and detained in custody unless he finds security to appear and answer the complaint and to abide by the decision of the court thereon.

(5) Where the court is of the opinion that the complaint could more properly or conveniently be dealt with by civil proceedings, it may, at any time before giving its final decision on the complaint, order that the remedy, if any, for the matters complained of shall be by an action brought in accordance with the law relating to civil proceedings and not by proceedings under this section.

(6) This section shall not apply to a trade dispute, that is to say, any dispute or difference between employers and workers (or between workers and other workers) connected with -

of any person.

82. Powers of the court.

(1) In dealing with the complaint; the court -

(2) Without prejudice to any other method of giving security which the court may consider appropriate in any particular case, a person may give security for the purposes of subsection (1) (b) of this section by making in or under the direction of the court a written or oral acknowledgement (to be known as a recognizance) of the undertaking or condition by which and the sum in which he is bound; and any such recognizance shall be made as nearly as possible in the same way as recognizances of bail and shall be liable to be forfeited and enforced in the same way as recognizances of bail.

83. Procedure.

(1) Subject to this section and the other provisions of sections 81, 82, 84 and 85 of this Act, the law regulating the procedure in criminal cases (including the law respecting appeals, revisions and the levying of moneys ordered to be paid) shall apply to the complaint and any orders for the payment of money made in consequence of the complaint, so however that -

(2) Where in consequence of the complaint the court makes an order for the payment of any sum by a public authority, no execution shall be issued, but the court shall forward a copy of the order -

and it shall thereupon be the duty of the Minister, person or public authority in question to ensure that the amount in the order is paid by the proper officer or department.

(3) The respondent, if immediately before the hearing of the complaint he is not in actual custody, shall not be compelled to enter the dock or other place usually assigned for persons under trial on a criminal charge or be otherwise treated as under arrest during the hearing of the complaint:

Provided that the court may cause the respondent to be arrested and detained in custody if it is satisfied that it is necessary to do so in order to secure the attendance of the respondent.

(4) At the hearing of the complaint the respondent shall be a competent but not a compellable witness.

(5) At the request of the complainant, an authorized labour officer who is entitled to act under section 78 (1) (j) of this Act may represent the complainant at the hearing of the complaint.

84. Compensation, and provision of food.

(1) Where the court -

it may direct that the fine, deposit or sum when recovered (or such part thereof as it thinks fit) shall be applied to compensate any employer or worker for wrong or damage sustained by him by reason of the act or thing in respect of which the fine was imposed or by reason of the non-performance of the relevant contract.

(2) Where it appears to the court that the complainant (being a worker) has not the means and is otherwise unable to obtain food for himself pending the determination of the complaint, it may, subject to subsection (3) of this section, cause the complainant to be supplied with necessary food at the expense of the Federal Government.

(3) Where food is supplied to the complainant under subsection (2) of this section, the cost of the food shall be a debt due to the Federal Government from the complainant and may be deducted by the court from any moneys received by the court for or on behalf of the complainant, or shall otherwise be paid by the complainant.

85. Costs.

(1) Subject to this section, the process of the court for compelling the attendance of the respondent and all necessary witnesses shall be instituted at the expense of the Federal Government and without any fees of court.

(2) At the final determination of the complaint the court may make such order for the payment of costs by either party as it thinks proper in the circumstances.

(3) If at the hearing of the complaint, the court is of the opinion that the complaint is vexatious or frivolous it may, there and then and without any fresh action or proceeding, order that the complainant shall -

(a) pay a fine not exceeding, N50 and defray the cost of the process and the witnesses; and

(b) in default of payment of the fine and costs, be liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one month.

Miscellaneous

86. Application to public authorities. The provisions of this Act, other than the penal provisions, shall apply to and be carried into effect by public authorities:

Provided that, in times of national emergency and in any other case where he is satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so, the Minister may by order exempt any public authority from all or any of the provisions of this Act for such a period as may be specified in the order.

87. Contracts made abroad.

(1) Subject to this section, nothing in this Act shall prevent any employer, worker or other person to whom this Act applies from enforcing his rights or remedies in respect of any breach or non-performance of any lawful contract made outside Nigeria, and the rights of the parties under such a contract (both against each other and against third parties invading those rights) may be enforced in the same manner as other rights arising outside Nigeria may be enforced and as if this Act had not been made.

(2) Whenever a contract made outside Nigeria has been executed in conformity with this Act, it shall be enforced in the same manner as a contract entered into under this Act.

(3) A written contract made outside Nigeria which has been executed otherwise than in conformity with this Act shall not be enforced against a worker to whom this Act applies if he is unable to read and understand the language in which the contract is written.

(4) For the purposes of this section, a contract shall be deemed to be executed in conformity with this Act if it is signed by the names or marks of the parties and bears an attestation to the effect that the contract was read over and explained to the parties in the presence of the person attesting and was entered into by the parties voluntarily and with full understanding of its meaning and effect.

(5) The attestation referred to in subsection (4) of this section may be made by any Nigerian official entitled to act under section 12 of the Oaths Act or by any judicial or other authority authorized by the law of the place where the contract was made to exercise the functions of a notary public or equivalent functions.

88. Regulations.

(1) The Minister may make regulations -

(2) Regulations made under subsection (1) of this section may specify for an offence under the regulations a fine not exceeding N500 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or both.

89. Savings and exemptions.

(1) Nothing in this Act shall -

(2) Nothing in this Act shall apply to serving members of the Armed Forces of the Federation or the Nigeria Police Force.

(3) The Minister with the prior approval of the National Council of Ministers may by order exempt (subject to such conditions, if any, as he sees fit to impose) any class or classes of workers from the application of this Act or any specified provision thereof.

90. Repeal, and transitional and saving provisions.

(1) The Labour Code Act is hereby repealed.

(2) The transitional and saving provisions in the Schedule to this Act (including any provisions made under paragraph 5 of that Schedule) shall have effect notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section or any other provision of this Act.

91. Interpretation.

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires -

"administrative officer" means a divisional officer, a district officer or any officer exercising corresponding functions;

"agricultural undertaking" means any undertaking in which a worker is employed under a contract of employment for the purpose of agriculture, fisheries, horticulture, silviculture, the tending of domestic animals and poultry or the collection of the produce of any plants or trees, but does not include any such undertaking in which only members of the same family are employed;

"authorized labour officer" means an authorized labour officer authorized under section 77 of this Act;

"citizen" means citizen of Nigeria;

"chief or other indigenous authority" includes any chief or indigenous authority whose authority is customary or traditional;

"child" means a young person under the age of twelve years;

"collective agreement" means an agreement in writing regarding working conditions and terms of employment concluded between -

"collective bargaining" means the process of arriving or attempting to arrive at a collective agreement;

"contract" means contract of employment, and includes a contract of apprenticeship;

"contract of employment" means any agreement, whether oral or written, express or implied, whereby one person agrees to employ another as a worker and that other person agrees to serve the employer as a worker;

"domestic servant" means any house, stable or garden servant employed in or in connection with the domestic services of any private dwelling house, and includes a servant employed as the driver of a privately owned or privately used motor car;

"employer" means any person who has entered into a contract of employment to employ any other person as a worker either for himself or for the service of any other person, and includes the agent, manager or factor of that first-mentioned person and the personal representatives of a deceased employer;

"employer's permit" means an employer's permit granted under section 24 of this Act;

"family" has the same meaning as in the First Schedule to the Workmen's Compensation Act;

"foreign contract" means a contract for the employment of a citizen outside Nigeria;

"function" includes power and duty;

"guardian" includes any person to whose care a young person has been committed (even temporarily) by a person having authority over the young person, and any person lawfully having charge of a young person who has no parents or whose parents are unknown;

"industrial undertaking" includes -

"industrial worker" includes any artificer, journeyman, handicraftsman, canoe man, carrier, messenger, clerk, shop assistant, storekeeper, labourer, agricultural labourer, hotel or catering worker or apprentice and any person or class of persons gainfully employed or normally seeking a livelihood by gainful employment declared to be such by the Minister by order;

"industry" includes trade;

"labour health area" means a labour health area declared under section 66 of this Act;

"Local Government" means a Local Government authority, the local authority of a township or any council or other authority (however styled) exercising statutory or customary powers of local administration in a State;

"mine" includes any place, excavation or working whereon, wherein or whereby any operation in connection with mining is carried on;

"Minister" means the Federal Minister for Employment, Labour and Productivity;

"public authority" means -

"public department" means a ministry or department of a public authority;

"public officer" means any person employed by a public authority;

"recruiter" means the holder of a recruiter's licence;

"recruiter's licence" means a recruiter's licence granted under section 25 of this Act;

"recruiting" includes all operations undertaken with the object of obtaining or supplying the labour of persons who do not spontaneously offer their services at the place of employment, at a public emigration or employment office or at an office conducted by an employer's association and supervised by the Minister;

"State" means a State of the Federation;

"State Authority", means the Governor or Administrator of a State;

"wages" means remuneration or earnings (however designated or calculated) capable of being expressed in terms of money and fixed by mutual agreement or by law which are payable by virtue of a contract by an employer to a worker for work done or to be done or for services rendered or to be rendered;

"woman" means any member of the female sex whatever her age or status;

"worker" means any person who has entered into or works under a contract with an employer, whether the contract is for manual labour or clerical work or is expressed or implied or oral or written, and whether it is a contract of service or a contract personally to execute any work or labour, but does not include -

"young person" means a person under the age of eighteen years.

(2) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, a reference to a numbered Part or section is a reference to the Part or section so numbered in this Act.

92. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Labour Act.

 

SCHEDULE - TRANSITIONAL AND SAVING PROVISIONS

1. Permits and licences granted under sections 65 and 70 respectively of the repealed Act shall, if they were in force immediately prior to the commencement of this Act, continue in force on the same terms and conditions but shall be subject to this Act; and accordingly no such term or condition shall prevail against any provision of this Act.

2. Contracts of employment which were in force immediately prior to the commencement of this Act shall remain in force on the same terms and conditions, but shall be subject to this Act; and no such term or condition shall prevail against any provision of this Act unless an authorized labour officer on the application of a party to the contract in question decides that the interests of the parties or the circumstances of the case require that the term or condition in question shall so prevail.

3. Where a fee-charging employment agency was in operation immediately before the commencement of this Act, section 71 (1) of this Act shall not apply to the agency -

4. Any subsidiary legislation made or deemed to have been made under the repealed Act which was in force immediately before the commencement of this Act shall remain in force, subject to any necessary modifications, as if it had been made under this Act, and may be added to, amended, revoked or varied accordingly.

5. Within the twelve months following the commencement of this Act the Minister may by order make any further transitional or saving provisions (not inconsistent with this Schedule) which appear to him to be necessary or desirable.

6. In this Schedule "the repealed Act" means the Labour Code Act repealed by section 90 (1) of this Act.



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