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Employers casualising workers without respect for Nigeria’s labour law will henceforth have to face the full wrath of the laws, warned the Federal Government.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, speaking on the sideline of the ongoing 3 -day Retreat on the Review of the National Labour Bills, which began yesterday in Lagos, condemned the manipulation of workers by the employers under the pretext that there’s no job in the country. He warned that it would no longer be business as usual as the Federal Government would be willing to defend the worker whose employer fails to ratify his or her employment after six months or one year as stipulated by law.
This is even as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said it would go ahead with the planned picketing of banks and telecommunications organisations indulging in workers’ casualisation without notice should the employers truncate the ongoing negotiation being supervised by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Timeframe is usually six months and one year respectively. He hinted that government is against adhoc employment also known as casualisation.
“The law on employment says when you give an individual temporary appointment you must confirm him after a while. In some places it is six months before confirmation and others one year. You must confirm the individual and give him/her conditions of services, then the individual will accept. We are still on that, it is what the labour industry prescribes.” Ngige stated.
He urged casual workers that have overstayed in particular establishments to report such, adding that because of unemployment and the way it has negatively affected the industry, “persons on casualisation are afraid to come forward.”
Ngige said, “We frown against adhoc employment which is known as casualisation. Once a casual worker starts to stay more than necessary, he should report such. But because of unemployment and the way it has negatively affected the industry, most persons on casualisation, are afraid to come forward. In most cases, they want to preserve what they are doing and earning because of the fear that the employers will frown at it and terminate their contract. But we are assuring them that we will protect them, and this is what we want to do with some of these laws.”
“The laws of the land protect every Nigerian as far as freedom of association is concerned and Nigeria is also signatory to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 89 on the Freedom of Association.”
The Minister said the retreat which has the government, employers and labour in attendance was to review labour laws in the country and do away with the obsolete ones.
He noted that Nigeria had at previous International Labour Conference (ILC) come under severe criticism for violation of some ILO Conventions, adding that the country is now ready to do the right thing with contributions from all the stakeholders. He lamented that previous attempt to review the labour laws in 2004 was truncated, while only Employees Compensation Act (ECA) was the only bill that was passed then out of five presented.
Source: The Sun
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