02 Feb Are Employment Bonds Legal in Nigeria?
I am a banker currently working with a Nigerian bank. Before my appointment, I was made to sign a 2yr bond that ensures I work with the bank for a minimum of 2 years before my exit or pay N2m upon termination of the appointment. Owing to the desperation then, I committed to signing this bond and till date, my life has been a misery.
I have spent exactly 1yr and 6 months on this job and have also gotten offers elsewhere which has kept me in a dilemma.
Is it possible for me to leave the bank without bearing the consequence of paying N2m? Someone once told me the Nigerian labor law stipulates a maximum of 1yr to bond an employee but I’m not sure.
- Stay with your employer until the 2 years runs out (which you do not seem inclined to want to do)
- Leave to another employer and challenge the validity of the bond (you might win the case, this will be down to how your lawyer argues the case, and in fact you could also get some compensation for lost earnings if you can successfully prove that the bond stopped you from taking a job which you would have earned considerably more).
- Leave to another employer, and offer to pay your current employer a pro-rated sum of the bond. In other words, the bond was for 2 years, and you are 1.5 years into it, you would offer them N500,000 to amicably discharge yourself of the bond without getting the courts involved.
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