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Dear Lawpadi,

I work in the HR department at an IT company. Our primary service is web hosting.

We have been using the Nigerian Labour Act as a guide to creating our Employee Handbook. However i came across your article “9-things-every-nigerian-know-labour-act” that insinuates that the Labour act might be non-applicable to my company in this paragraph: “Firstly, and most importantly, it appears that the Labour Act is not applicable to all classes of employees in Nigeria. The Act uses the word ‘workers’ in describing employees, and defines workers as not including persons exercising administrative, executive, technical or professional functions as public officers or otherwise. This means if the nature of your role is administrative, executive, technical or professional, then you are not covered by the Act. The Labour Act only covers employees engaged under a contract of manual labour or clerical work in private and public sector.”

My questions are:

1.) Is the Labour Act really not applicable to us?
2.) If it is truly not applicable, can we still use it as a guide to draw up our Employee Handbook?
3.) Is there any other Labour Acts or bills that may be more suited to our company?
4.) Are there more articles that explain Labour laws like the “9-things-every-nigerian-know-labour-act”?

I look forward to your response.

Kind regards.

Best Answer

Good morning,

Thank you for contacting us.

Please see responses below:

1. The provisions of the Labour Act are not applicable to certain cadres in your workforce i.e. those whose roles are administrative, executive, technical or professional.

2. Yes, you may still use it as a guide. As a progressive employer, you should strive to create an employment policy that provides sound legal support for your members of staff.

3. At the moment, the Labour Act is the main piece of legislation that deals with employer and employee relations.

4. Here are a few links to some of our other Labour related articles:

Are Employment Bonds Legal in Nigeria?

11 Things to Know about Nigeria’s Employee Compensation Act

Case Analysis: HIV/AIDS Discrimination in the workplace

Salary rights after job termination

How to handle Sexual Harassment at Work in Nigeria

What you should know about Pensions in Nigeria

Late/Non-Payment of Salary: What to Do?

Please note finally that even though the Labour Act is not directly applicable to your workers due to the nature of their work, employers are also bound by the provisions of International Conventions which have been ratified by Nigeria, and so we would advise that you seek further legal support to ensure your policy is in accordance with the provisions of those Conventions.

We hope you have found this information helpful. Please note that this information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. It is not intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified lawyer. If you require legal advice, please consult with a qualified lawyer. If you need assistance in contacting a lawyer, you may contact us on [email protected] and we would be glad to match you with a lawyer who meets your requirements.

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