We went legal last Friday on Crux of the Matter live tweetchat session when I (Elsie Godwin), Bamidele Olalekan Abayomi @pexxie to discuss Rights of an Employee. See extensive recap of the tweetchat session below, after his bio:
Bamidele Olalekan A. is a Brand and Marketing Strategist who partners with CEOs and entrepreneurs to grow their personal and professional brands organically. Bamidele is also a seasoned legal practitioner with expertise in property law area and corporate matters. He is a professional digital media marketer, an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Arbitrators and mediation (ICAMA UK). Bamidele holds a 2nd class Hons (upper division) (B.L) from the Nigerian Law school and also a 2nd class Hons (LL.B) from Afe babalola University…. He is also a fashion designer.
The employer’s duties to his employee basically come under the common law and under statutes. Paramount among the duties of the employer at common law is the duty to take reasonable care for the safety of his worker. Under these comes some of the rights of Employees.
The Received English Common Law which involves principles of equity and statutes of general application inforce in England as at 1st January 1900, which were received into Nigeria through the various receptions laws, introduced some duties into the employer-employee relationship.
Besides received English Laws, there are also statutes which regulated employment relationships between master & servant. These statutes include: Factories Act, Nigeria Labour Act, Trade Union Act, the Trade Dispute Act, Pensions Act, Wages Legislation & employees Compensation Act…
General blanket duties of employees to their employees which are rights of the employees are;
1. Provision of safe plant, including safe equipment, tools, materials and appliances in the workplace
2. Right to be provided safe and secure system of work, that is, a safe process
3. Payment of wages every employee has a right to be duly and adequately pay for any work they must have carried out for their employer, and this pay shall not be unwillingly or gainfully withheld or unreasonably deducted by the employer
4. Right to Annual holiday with pay employers are under a statutory duty to grant periodical leave with pay to the employees. Pregnant women are to be granted maternity leave. However, they must tender medical certificate given by registered medical practitioner
5. Right to a decent pay… it is awful and criminal to indecently underpay and over work an employee
6. Payment of wages during suspension – Where the employer seeks to suspend an employee without pay, the contract has to expressly provide for it. As in the Nigerian case of Okunorem v. UAC Ltd. 20 NLR 25 @ 27
7. Right to be Paid wages during sick leave – It may be expressly provided for in the contract of employment what the payment to a worker who is ill should be. If the terms of the contract are silent on that, the court would apply the provision of the Labour Act which is less favourable to the employee who is entitled to be paid wages up to twelve working days in any one calendar year during absence from work caused illness
8. Right to Non-Victimization – No employee should be subdued to any form of Victimization within or outside place of work
9. Right to Fair Labour practices according to international best practices – It is unlawful for monkey to work and baboon to Dey chop basically… its criminal to put unfair labour on any employee
10 .Last but not the least to save us time, right not to be unfairly dismissed or discriminated against… if your employer sacks you without any reasonable form of notice or pre action notice, you can sue him and have a good case in court…
So how is unfair labor determined?
Speaking in a blanket meaning, “unfair labour practices” are those employer actions that interfere with union rights.
“Unfair labour practice” means any failure to act or unfair act of an employer towards a worker concerning – Promotion, demotion, or benefits, suspending a worker, refusing to re-employ a worker, as agreed & an employer makes circumstances difficult for a worker.
Right to decent pay; riding on the wings of our current minimum wage? What is the standard?
Minimum wage in Nigeria of N18,000 is probably the lowest in Africa & it says a whole lot considering how Nigerians work double what they are being paid & what they ought to earn compared to the job they do, but then again it’s called “minimum wage” not actual/max wage.
What are the necessary steps to be taken when and if your salary is unduly withheld? 2. You are fired unjustly (with and without pay) ?
If you’re owed unpaid salaries, you’ll have a reasonable chance of winning if you can prove the following – -you are, or were, a worker. – the money you are owed is something you can claim -you’re entitled to the money you’re claiming
Where do I get these documents I’ve listed? -From your bank once a request is made -From your Head of HR -Finance Department
However!! if you are fired unjustly without pay, then National industrial court would be excited to hear your case, because you’ve got a pretty good case…National industrial court (NIC) because they are statutory Given powers to preside over employment matters