Permits and licences granted under sections 65 and 70 respectively of the repealed Act shall, if they were in force immediately prior to the commencement of this Act, continue in force on the same terms and conditions but shall be subject to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.
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.
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- (a) for a period of ninety days (or such longer period as the Minister may allow) after the commencement of this Act, or (b) if the person operating the agency applies within that period for the Minister’s consent under the said section 71 (1) of this Act, until the application has been disposed of.
Any subsidiary legislation made or deemed to have been made under the repealed Act which was in force immediately before the commencement of this Act shall remain in force, subject to any necessary modifications, as if it had been made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.
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.
In this Schedule “the repealed Act” means the Labour Code Act i repealed by section 90 (1) of this Act.
Section 86, 87, 88, 89, 90 ,91, 92 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004 is under Part IV (Supplemental), and collectively titled ‘Miscellaneous‘.
Section 86 of the Labour Act 2004
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.
Section 87 of the Labour Act 2004
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.
Section 88 of the Labour Act 2004
(1) The Minister may make regulations- (a) providing for the payment of compensation by employers to workers or domestic servants for injury arising out of and in the course of their employment in cases not coming within the provisions of any other enactment, and for the recovery of the compensation in question; (b) requiring employers to report any accident involving the death of or injury to a worker or domestic servant, in cases not coming within the provisions of any other enactment;
(c) prescribing the conditions under which carriers may be employed and the limitation of loads to be carried by them; (d) imposing upon persons who have accepted the services of any worker or domestic servant without paying wages therefore the obligation to provide for the maintenance of the worker or domestic servant during sickness or in old age; (e) prescribing anything which is to be prescribed under this Act and is not otherwise provided for; (f) prescribing fees to be paid for any matter or thing to be done under this Act; and (g) containing such procedural or ancillary provisions as he considers necessary or convenient to facilitate the operation of this Act.
(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.
Section 89 of the Labour Act 2004
Savings and exemptions.
(1) Nothing in this Act shall- (a) operate to relieve any employer or worker of any duty or liability imposed upon him by any other enactment or to limit any power given to any public officer by any such enactment; or (b) prevent any employer, worker or other person to whom this Act applies from being proceeded against according to law for any offence punishable under any law in force in Nigeria, so however that no person shall be punished twice for the same offence.
(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.
Section 90 of the Labour Act 2004
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 (I) of this section or any other provision of this Act.
Section 91 of the Labour Act 2004
(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-
(a) an organization of workers or an organization representing workers (or association of such organizations) of the one part; and
(b) an organization of employers or an organization representing employers (or an association of such organizations) of the other part; “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 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- (a) mines, quarries and other works for the extraction of minerals from the earth; (b) industries in which articles are manufactured, altered, cleaned, repaired, ornamented, finished, adapted for sale, broken up or demolished or in which materials are transformed, including shipbuilding and the generation and transformation of electricity or motive power of any kind; (c) the construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, alteration or demolition of any building, railway, tramway, harbour, dock, canal, inland waterway, road, tunnel, bridge, viaduct, sewer, drain, well, telegraph or telephonic installation, electrical undertaking, gasworks, waterworks, or other works of construction, as well as the preparation for or the laying of the foundation of any such work or structure; and
(d) transport of passengers or goods by road, rail, air, sea or inland waterways, including the handling of goods at docks, quays, wharves, warehouses and airports, and including the carrying of coal or other materials by hand to or from lighters or ships,
but does not include any commercial or agricultural undertaking, any undertaking in which only members of the same family are employed or any customary occupation of a kind normally carried on at home; “industrial worker” includes any artificer, journeyman, handicraftsman, canoeman, 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- (a) the Federal Government; or (b) a State Government; or (c) a local government authority; or
(d) a statutory corporation, that is to say, a body corporate directly established by law in Nigeria, being a body which is expressly bound by law to comply with directions given by a Minister or by a corresponding authority; or
(e) a government-controlled company, that is to say, a limited liability company incorporated in Nigeria in which the Federal Government or a State Government has a controlling interest; “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- (a) any person employed otherwise than for the purposes of the employer’s business, or (b) persons exercising administrative, executive, technical or professional functions as public officers or otherwise, or (c) members of the employer’s family, or
(d) representatives, agents and commercial travellers in so far as their work is carried on outside the permanent workplace of the employer’s establishment; or (e) any person to whom articles or materials are given out to be made up, cleaned, washed, altered, ornamented, finished, repaired or adapted for sale in his own home or on other premises not under the control or management of the person who gave out the articles or the material; or (f) any person employed in a vessel or aircraft to which the laws regulating merchant shipping or civil aviation apply; “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.
Section 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004 is under Part IV (Supplemental), and collectively titled ‘Settlement of disputes‘.
Section 80 of the Labour Act 2004
(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.
Section 81 of the Labour Act 2004
(1) Where- (a) an employer or worker neglects or refuses to fulfil a contract; or (b) any question, difference or dispute arises as to the rights or liabilities of a party to a contract or touching any misconduct, neglect, ill-treatment or injury to the person or property of a party to a contract, 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- (a) the employment or non-employment; or (b) the terms of the employment; or (c) the conditions of labour, of any person.
Section 82 of the Labour Act 2004
Powers of the court
(1) In dealing with the complaint; the court- (a) may adjust and set off one against the other all such claims on the part of the complainant and the respondent arising out of or incidental to the relationship between them as the court may find to be subsisting, whether the claims are liquidated or unliquidated or for wages, damages or otherwise, and may direct the payment of such sum as it finds due by one party to the other;
(b) may direct fulfillment of the relevant contract and, in a case where damages might be awarded for any breach of contract, may in place of the whole or part of the damages which would otherwise have been awarded direct the party committing the breach to give security to the satisfaction of the court for the due performance of so much of the contract as remains unperformed;
(c) if the party receiving a direction under paragraph (b) of this subsection fails to find security and the court is satisfied that the failure is not due to the inability of that party to find it, may commit him to prison (for a period not exceeding three months) until he finds it; (d) may rescind the contract upon such terms as to apportionment of wages or other sums due thereunder, and as to the payment of wages or damages or other sums due, as it thinks just; and
(e) where the court has criminal jurisdiction and it appears to the court that an employer or worker has been guilty of an offence under this Act, may in place of or in addition to exercising any of the powers conferred by paragraphs (a) to (d) of this subsection pass on the offender any sentence which is authorized by this Act and is within its criminal jurisdiction.
(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 acknowledgment (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.
Section 83 of the Labour Act 2004
(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- (a) the court may order that the law regulating civil proceedings shall apply to the complaint and any such orders if in any case it considers that the interests of justice so require; and (b) the law regulating civil proceedings shall so apply if the court has no criminal jurisdiction.
(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- (a) if the public authority is the Federal Government, to the Minister for Finance and Economic Development; (b) if the public authority is a State Government, to the Minister for Finance of that State; and (c) in any other case, to the public authority concerned, 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.
Section 84 of the Labour Act 2004
Compensation, and provision of food
(1) Where the court- (a) imposes any fine; or (b) directs security by way of deposit to be given; or (c) enforces payment of any sum secured by a recognizance, 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.
Section 85 of the Labour Act 2004
(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.
Section 77, 78, 79 of the Labour Act 2004 is under Part IV (Supplemental), and collectively titled ‘Administration‘.
Section 77 of the Labour Act 2004
Authorized labour offices.
(1) The Minister may by writing under his hand authorize- (a) any public officer serving in a ministry or department for which the Minister is responsible; and (b) with the consent of the State Authority, any officer in the public service of a State, to be an authorized labour officer for the purposes of this Act
(2) An authorization under subsection (1) of this section may- (a) as regards the officer authorized, be made by name or by office; (b) relate to the whole of the Federation or any specified part or parts thereof; and (c) relate to the whole of this Act or any specified provision or provisions thereof.
(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.
Section 78 of the Labour Act 2004
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- (a) enter, inspect and examine by day or night any labour encampment, farm, factory or other land or workplace whatsoever (and every part thereof) if he has reasonable cause to believe that any worker is employed therein or thereon; (b) enter, inspect and examine by day any premises provided by an employer in which he has reasonable cause to believe that workers are living; (c) enter, inspect and examine any hospital building, sanitary convenience, messroom or water supply provided for or used by workers; (d) take with him a police officer if he has reasonable cause to apprehend any serious obstruction in the execution of his functions; (e) require the production of any registers, certificates, notices or other documents kept in pursuance of this Act and inspect, examine and copy any of them; (f) make such examination and enquiry as may be necessary to ascertain whether the provisions of this Act are being complied with, so far as respects any labour encampment, farm, factory or other land or workplace whatsoever and any person employed therein or thereon; (g) inspect and examine all food provided for the use of workers and take samples thereof, so however that- (i) any sample taken in pursuance of this paragraph shall be taken in duplicate in the presence of the employer of the workers (or, if the employer is not readily available, in the presence of a foreman or other responsible person) and shall be labelled and sealed in the presence of the employer, foreman or other responsible person, and (ii) one sample so labelled and sealed shall be left with the employer, foreman or other responsible person;
(h) take or remove for the purpose of analysis samples of materials and substances used or handled by workers from premises not covered by the Factories Act, subject to the employer or his representative being notified and given an opportunity to be present when the samples are taken; (i) interrogate, either alone or in the presence of another person as he thinks fit, with respect to matters to which this Act relates, any person whom he finds in or on any labour encampment, farm, factory or other workplace whatsoever or whom he has reasonable cause to believe to have been within the preceding three months employed in or on any labour encampment, farm, factory or other land or workplace whatsoever, so however that no person shall be forced to answer any question tending to incriminate himself; (j) with the consent in writing of the Minister and subject to any powers conferred by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the Attorney-General or Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation or a State, prosecute, conduct or defend before a magistrate’s court, a district court or a court given jurisdiction under section 80 (2) of this Act in his own name (or, where he is acting under section 83 (5) of this Act, in the name of the complainant) any complaint or other proceeding arising under this Act or otherwise in the exercise of his functions as an authorized labour officer; (k) direct any person who has in his opinion contravened any provision of this Act, to remedy the contravention within a specified and reasonable period; and (l) direct the posting of a notice in any premises if he is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient for the proper implementation 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 m 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 N1,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both.
Section 79 of the Labour Act 2004
Delegation of functions
(1) Subject to this section, the Minister may delegate any of his functions under this Act- (a) to a public officer serving in a ministry or department for which the Minister is responsible; or (b) as regards a State, to the Minister in the Government of the State responsible for labour matters or, with the consent of the State Authority, to an officer in the public service of the State.
(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.
Section 75, 76 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004 is under Part IV (Supplemental), and collectively titled ‘Records and returns‘.
Section 75 of the Labour Act 2004
(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- (a) the name and address of the worker; (b) his town (or other place) of origin; (c) the date of his birth; (d) the name and address of his next of kin; (e) the date and place of his engagement; (f) his National Provident Fund number; and (g) the date of cessation of employment.
(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- (a) knowingly and with intent to avoid compliance with any provision of this Act, omits to keep any or any sufficient record of any particular wages or conditions of employment, or (b) fails to comply with subsection (2) or (3) of this section, shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N200.
Section 76 of the Labour Act 2004
(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.
Section 73, 74 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004 is under Part III (Special Classes Of Worker And Miscellaneous Special Provisions) of the act, and collectively titled ‘Forced labour‘.
Section 73 of the Labour Act 2004
Prohibition of forced labour
(1) Any person who requires any other person, or l 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 N1,000 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.
Section 74 of the Labour Act 2004
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- (a) may specify for an offence under the regulations (including a failure or refusal, without reasonable cause, to render labour lawfully required thereunder) a fine not exceeding N200 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or both, and as a daily penalty a fine not exceeding N10 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding seven days, or both; and (b) may add to, amend or repeal subsections (3) to (6) 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- (a) the construction and maintenance of buildings used for communal purposes, including markets but excluding juju houses and places of worship; (b) sanitary measures; (c) the construction and maintenance of local roads and paths; (d) the construction and maintenance of town or village fences; (e) the construction and maintenance of communal wells; and (f) other communal services of a similar kind in the direct interest of the inhabitants of the town or village. (4) No labour shall be required under subsection (3) of this section unless- (a) the inhabitants of the town or village or their direct representatives have been previously consulted by the prescribed authority with regard to the need for the proposed service; and (b) a majority of the inhabitants or representatives, as the case may be, has agreed to the requiring of the labour.
(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.
Section 68, 70, 71, 72 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004 is under Part III (Special Classes Of Worker And Miscellaneous Special Provisions) of the act, and collectively titled ‘Registration, employment exchanges, etc.‘.
Section 68 of the Labour Act 2004
Registration of employers
(1) The Minister may make regulations for the registration of employers.
(2) Regulations made under this section may- (a) provide for the registration of employers (or specific classes of employers) generally or in specific areas to be prescribed in the regulations; (b) prescribe the manner of, and conditions for, registration and the person by whom and the manner in which the register is to be maintained;
(c) prescribe the circumstances in which employers may be refused registration or struck off the register; (d) without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (c) of this subsection, provide for employers to be refused registration or to be struck off the register, as the case may be, if they Fail to comply with conditions specified in the regulations; (e) prohibit the employment of citizens as workers by unregistered employers; (f) impose penalties for contraventions of the regulations not exceeding a fine of N1,500 or imprisonment For a period of two years, or both; and (g) contain such incidental or related provisions as the Minister thinks necessary or expedient.
Section 69 of the Labour Act 2004
(1) Where the Minister 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- (a) it shall be the duty of every employer who is engaged in the industry or ordinarily has a place of business in the area, as the case may be, to apply for registration in accordance with any regulations made under subsection (5) of this section; (b) every industrial worker under the age of fifty-five years who is employed in the industry or, as the case may be, is ordinarily resident in the area shall be liable to compulsory registration under those regulations if an order is made in respect of him under paragraph (c) of this subsection; (c) the Minister may by order require any class or classes of industrial workers to whom paragraph (b) of this subsection applies to present themselves for registration in such manner, at such place and within such times as may be specified in the order; and (d) the Minister may by order forbid such employers as are mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection (or any specified class thereof)- (i) to carry on business in the industry or area, as the case may be, unless they are registered accordingly, or (ii) to employ industrial workers (or any specified class thereof) in the industry or area, as the case may be, unless the workers are registered accordingly.
(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- (a) establishing offices for the registration of employers and industrial workers; (b) prescribing forms of application for registration and certificates of registration, and such other forms as may be needed for the purposes of the regulations; (c) providing for the issue of certificates of registration and their replacement if lost or destroyed; (d) prescribing the particulars to be furnished on application for registration and on registration; (e) prescribing the duties of registered persons and others in respect of certificates of registration; and (f) prescribing fees and providing generally for registration under this section.
Section 70 of the Labour Act 2004
The Minister may make regulations- (a) authorizing the establishment of registration offices, to be known as employment exchanges, at which industrial workers may attend for registration and make application for employment and to which employers may notify vacancies; (b) providing for the issue of certificates of registration and identity to registered industrial workers and the replacement, on payment of such fee as may be prescribed, of any such certificates when lost or destroyed; (c) prescribing the particulars to be furnished on registration;
(d) providing for the taking of photographs and fingerprints of registered industrial workers as a means of identification; (e) regulating or restricting the numbers of registered industrial workers employed, either generally or in specified businesses or undertakings; (f) prescribing the duties of registered persons and others in respect of certificates of registration and identity; (g) requiring employers in such occupations as may be specified to furnish returns of such matters relating to the employment of workers as may be specified; and (h) prescribing fees to be charged under the regulations.
Section 71 of the Labour Act 2004
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- (a) an agency conducted by any person who acts as an intermediary for the purpose of procuring employment for a worker or supplying a worker to an employer with a view to deriving either directly or indirectly any pecuniary or other material advantage from either employer or worker; or (b) an agency for conducting the placing services of any company, institution, agency or other organisation which, although the agency is not conducted with a view to obtaining any pecuniary or other material advantage, levies from either employer or worker for those services an entrance fee, a periodical contribution or any other charge, 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.
Section 72 of the Labour Act 2004
(1) Any person who with intent to deceive- (a) gives any false particulars for the purposes of section 69 (1) to (4) of this Act or any regulations made under section 69 (5) or 70 of this Act; or (b) forges a registration certificate of the kind provided for in any such regulations; or (c) uses a forged certificate of that kind; or (d) lends to or allows to be used by another person a certificate of that kind; or (e) makes or has in his possession any document so closely resembling a certificate of that kind as to be calculated to deceive; or (f) uses or displays a certificate of that kind which has not been issued to him, shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N1,000 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- (a) if he is an employer, is engaged in the industry or ordinarily has a place of business in the area, as the case may be; and (b) if he is an industrial worker, is under the age of fifty-five years and is engaged in the industry or ordinarily resident in the area, as the case may be.
Section 66, 67 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004 is under Part III (Special Classes Of Worker And Miscellaneous Special Provisions) of the act, and collectively titled ‘Labour health areas‘.
Section 66 of the Labour Act 2004
Labour health areas
Where the Minister is satisfied that an 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.
Section 67 of the Labour Act 2004
The Minister, in respect of labour health areas or any particular labour health area, may make regulations for-( (a) the planning and layout of towns and villages; (b) the construction of streets, lanes, buildings, markets, open places, drains, latrines, incinerators, wells and tanks;
(c) the provision of housing accommodation for workers, the provision of sanitary arrangements for, and the inspection of, that accommodation, and the limitation of the number of persons or class of persons who may reside in any house; (d) the supply of water, food and fuel; (e) the examination of workers by medical officers, that is to say, registered medical practitioners in the service of a public authority or other registered medical practitioners authorized as medical officers by the Minister for the purposes of this paragraph;
(f) the measures to be taken to prevent the introduction or spreading of infectious and contagious diseases; (g) the compulsory employment of qualified medical practitioners by employers; (h) the compulsory erection and proper staffing, control and equipping of hospitals by employers and, in default thereof, the recovery from employers of the cost of medical attendance provided by the Federal Government and of the erection and maintenance of any hospitals erected by that Government; (i) requiring employers to make arrangements with hospital authorities for the medical and surgical treatment of their workers (including, where necessary, accommodation and food in hospital) and to provide any necessary transport for sick or injured workers; (j) prescribing- (i) the matters for which the arrangements mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall provide, (ii) the officer by whom those arrangements are to be approved, and (iii) the charges which may be made by the hospital authority and the period (not exceeding six weeks) for which the employer shall be liable for those charges;
(k) the keeping of medical attendance registers; (l) the furnishing of returns of- (i) the numbers of workers employed either above or below ground and the nature of their employment, (ii) casualties by way of injury, disease or death, and (iii) such other matters as the Minister may consider necessary to ensure that the health and welfare of workers are properly attended to; (m) prescribing fees to be paid for any matter or thing to be done under the regulations; (n) prescribing- (i) penalties for offences under the regulations not exceeding a fine of N1,500 or imprisonment for a period of two years, or both, and (ii) additional penalties for continuing offences not exceeding in the aggregate a fine of N1,500 or imprisonment for a period of two years, or both; and
(o) where any structure is built, renewed, reconstructed or altered in contravention of the regulations- (i) providing for the service of notice of the contravention on the offending person, (ii) enabling a specified officer or authority, in default of remedial action being taken in consequence of the notice, to enter the relevant premises and take such remedial action as he considers necessary, and (iii) providing for the recovery of any expenses incurred by the officer or authority in doing so.
Section 65 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004 is under Part III (Special Classes Of Worker And Miscellaneous Special Provisions) of the act, and titled ‘Domestic service – Regulations’.
The Minister may make regulations providing for- (a) the engagement, repatriation or supervision of domestic servants; (b) the employment of women and domestic servants; (c) the housing accommodation and sanitary arrangement of domestic servants; and (d) the conditions of domestic service generally.
Section 59, 60, 61, 62, 64 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004 is under Part III (Special Classes Of Worker And Miscellaneous Special Provisions) of the act, and collectively titled ‘Young persons.’
Section 59 of the Labour Act 2004
General.Register of young persons in industrial undertakings.
(1) No child shall- (a) be employed or work in any capacity except where he is employed by a member of his family on light work of an agricultural, horticultural or domestic character approved by the Minister; or (b) be required in any case to lift, carry or move anything so heavy as to be likely to injure his physical development.
(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- (a) on a daily wage; (b) on a day-to-day basis; and (c) so long as he returns each night to the place of residence of his parents or guardian or a person approved by his parents or guardian: 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- (a) with the approval of an authorized labour officer; and (b) on a written contract (which, notwithstanding any law to the contrary, shall not be voidable on the ground of incapacity to contract due to infancy) conforming with Part I of this Act: 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- (a) to work underground; or (b) on machine work; or (c) on a public holiday.
(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.
Section 60 of the Labour Act 2004
(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- (a) in the manufacture of iron and steel, in processes in which reverberatory or regeneratory furnaces are used and in the galvanizing of sheet metal or wire (except the pickling process); (b) glass works; (c) manufacture of paper; (d) manufacture of raw sugar; and (e) gold mining reduction work.
(3) Young persons over the age of sixteen may be employed during the night in cases of emergency which- (a) could not have been controlled or foreseen; (b) are not of a periodical character; and (c) interfere with the normal working of an industrial undertaking.
(4) In this section, “night” means a period of at least twelve consecutive hours, including- (a) in the case of young persons under the age of sixteen years, the interval between ten o’clock in the evening and six o’clock in the morning; and (b) in the case of young persons over the age of sixteen years but under the age of eighteen years, a prescribed interval of at least seven consecutive hours falling between ten o’clock in the evening and seven o’clock in the morning. (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.
Section 61 of the Labour Act 2004
(1) No young person under the age of fifteen years shall be employed in any vessel, except where- (a) the vessel is a school or training vessel and the work on which the young person is employed is- (i) work of a kind approved by the Minister, and (ii) supervised by a public officer or by a public department; or (b) only members of the young person’s family are employed.
(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 are 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- (a) subject to paragraph (b) of this subsection, the certificate shall be valid for one year from the date of issue, or, if it would otherwise expire in the course of a voyage, until the end of the voyage in question; and (b) the certificate may at any time be revoked by a qualified medical practitioner if he is satisfied that the young person is no longer fit for the employment or work.
(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.
Section 63 of the Labour Act 2004
The Minister may make regulations- (a) exempting any occupation which forms part of an industrial undertaking from all or any of the provisions of sections 59 to 62 of this Act or any regulations made under this section; (b) providing for the registration and identification of young persons; (c) prescribing the records to be kept and the returns to be made by employers of young persons; (d) further restricting the employment of young persons in specified occupations; (e) prescribing additional conditions upon which young persons may be engaged or employed; and (f) making further provision for the care of young persons by employers.
Section 64 of the Labour Act 2004
( 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.