The House of Representatives has introduced a bill for the imprisonment of employers who owe or delay in the payment of workers’ salaries, allowances and pensions.
The bill, when passed, will cause any employer that has failed to pay salaries, allowances and pensions for more than two months to be sent to jail in addition to a penalty of one month salary.

Titled; “An act to prohibit late payment, under payment of workers’ wages, pension and other emoluments in Nigeria and prescribes penalties for violations and for related matters”, the bill is sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

The proposed legislation, which was passed through first reading on July 3, 2020, before the House proceeded on annual recess is expected to be passed into law before the end of the year.

According to section 4(1) of the bill: “An employer shall not hold on to the salary, wage, pension and any other benefits and emoluments of any workman for a period of seven days and above from the day of payment of such salary, wage, pension and any other benefits or emoluments falls due save in the event of any force majure”

Section 3 says: “Where the breach is in respect of other monetary benefits apart from monthly wage and monthly pension, the penalty shall be 30 per cent of such monetary benefits for the period.”

The bill further provides that any employer that owes from 60 days and above shall be committed to a prison term and made to pay a fine of one month salary.

The duration of imprisonment was however not provided. Section 2 of the bill provides that; “Every employer of labour on Nigeria, whether private or public and whether it is employing any worker on perma-nent or contract basis must ensure that all payment of wages, salaries, pensions and all benefits to workers are paid promptly without delay weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly as may be agreed by parties on the contract of employment of individual employee”

Section 3 (1) states that; “An individual is prohibited from entering onto any contract with any workman for any deductions from the sum contracted to be paid by the employer to the workman, or for any payment to the employer by the workman for or in respect of bad or negligent work or any injury to the material or other property of the employer or in respect of any fine unless;

“3(1)(a) The terms of contract contained in a notice kept constantly affixed at such place or places open to the workman and in such a position that it should be seen easily read and copied by any person whom it affects or the contract is in writing signed by the workman”


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