It may soon be illegal for employers of labour to delay or under-pay workers.
According to a bill being sponsored by Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, it will soon be unlawful for any employer to underpay or delay workers salaries.
The bill recommends penalties such as fines and imprisonment for employers who delay salary payments.
It reads in part: “An employer who withholds salary, wage, pension and any other benefit and emolument of any worker for a period of seven days and above, in respect of other monetary benefits shall pay 30% of such monetary benefits for the period.
“An employer who fails in its obligation for a period of 60 days and above shall be liable to fine of 30% of the wage for the duration and one-month imprisonment and 30 per cent fine of two months’ wage for a period of 30 to 60 days.
“Fine of 20% of one month’s wage for a period of eight to 30 days; and 10% fine of the one month’s wage for a period of one to seven days respectively.”
The bill, also recommends punitive measures for directors of public limited liability companies who default in the payment of salaries and other benefits to workers.
If passed into law, the legislation will be binding on all Nigerians working as a full employee or contract staff/apprentice (either through oral or written agreement) in the public and private sectors.
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