Why Employers Now Risk One-month Imprisonment For Late Payment Of Salaries


Why Employers Now Risk One-month Imprisonment For Late Payment Of Salaries 

A bill aimed at prohibiting late payment of salaries, underpayment of wages, pension, and other emoluments in Nigeria has passed the second reading at the House of Representatives.

The bill sponsored by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila was passed for second reading on Tuesday following the debate on the general principle of the bill.


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The bill seeks to prohibit employees from owing salaries and other emoluments. The bill is prescribing punishment for such employers. For instance, owing salaries above 60days, such an employer risks 30 days imprisonment.

Section 2 of the bill provides that “Every employer of labour in Nigeria, whether private or public, and whether it is employing any worker on permanent or contract basis must ensure that all payment of wages, salaries, pension and all benefits to workers are paid promptly without delay weekly, fortnightly monthly, quarterly or yearly as may be agreed by parties in the contract of employment of the additional individuals”

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In addition, the bill prohibits arbitrary and harsh deduction as punishment in the event of damages and negligence by an employee.

Section 3(1) says “an employer is prohibited from entering into any contract with any workman for any deduction from the sum contracted to be paid by the employer to the workman, or any payment to the employer by the workman for in respect of bad negligent work or injury to the material or property of the employer or in respect of any fine.”

The bill was referred to the committee of the whole as it was not debated.


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