As an employee, knowing the Labour laws must be of importance to you. You should know what you are entitled to so you don’t get cheated or bamboozled. In this article, we will throw some light on five salient aspects of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651).

LEAVE: Every employee is entitled to at least 15 working days leave within the calendar year with full pay. This shall exclude sick and maternity leave. Any agreement to forgo leave is void.

MATERNITY LEAVE: A pregnant woman is entitled to maternity leave of at least 12 weeks in addition to any period of her annual leave. She is entitled to full pay within the period and additional weeks depending on the circumstances of confinement. An employer shall not dismiss an employee because of her absence from work on maternity leave. Unless with her consent, an employer shall not assign or employ a pregnant woman worker to engage in night work or overtime in the case of a mother of a child who is less than eight months old.

SALARY: Every employee shall receive equal pay for equal work. An employer shall not impose pecuniary penalties on employees and shall not deduct from pay unless permitted by law.

DISABILITY: An employment of a person who suffers disability, shall not cease if there is dual capacity for work such that that person can be found in employment in the same or some other corresponding job in the same undertaking, but if a corresponding job cannot be found, the employment may be terminated by notice. The length of notice of termination required to be given in the case of a person with disability shall not be shorter than one month.

TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT: Employment contracts may be terminated by a mutual agreement, ill treatment or sexual harassment, death of an employee, incompetence of the employee and proven misconduct. A termination of employment is considered unfair if it is as a result of:

  1. The employee participating in trade union activities.
  2. Filing a complaint against the employer.
  3. Discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, pregnancy or being absent from work during maternity leave, temporary illness or injury, among others. The remedy for unfair termination is to make a complaint to the National Labour Commission. Upon termination of the employment, any renumeration due, any deferred payment or compensation must be paid to the employee.
  4. Redundancy: Redundancy occurs where there are major changes in production, programme, organisation, structure, technology or a close down which results in unemployment and diminutive of terms and conditions of employment. When there are such changes, an employer must submit a notice specifying the reasons and categories of employees affected to the Chief Labour Officer and Trade Union concerned not later than three months before the con templated changes.

It is worthy of note that though the Labour Act sets out the law to govern interrelations in the work place, a contract of employment binds its stakeholders to its terms unless the Labour Laws expressively prohibits the compliance of a term within the agreement.


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