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Are employers required to give notice of termination?
Yes, employers must give notice of the termination of employment, but an employer may elect to make a payment in lieu of the notice.
The statutory notice periods prescribed in Section 11 of the Labour Act are as follows:
- one day’s notice for contracts with a duration of three months or less;
- one week’s notice for contracts with a duration of more than three months but less than two years;
- two weeks' notice for contracts with a duration of two years or more but less than five years; and
- one month’s notice for contracts with a duration of five years or more.
The Labour Act applies only to workers. However, in practice employers use its provisions as a benchmark for determining the applicable notice periods for non-workers.
What are the rules that govern redundancy procedures?
Redundancies are governed by:
- the Labour Act;
- the decisions of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN);
- the contracts of the affected employees (which include the employees’ handbook); and
- the provisions of any collective bargaining agreement between an employer and the representatives of a trade union.
In the event of a redundancy, an employer must:
- inform the trade union or representatives of the employees of the reason for and extent of the anticipated redundancy;
- apply the principle of ‘last in, first out’ in determining the employees to be affected by the process; and
- negotiate redundancy payments of the affected employees.
Are there particular rules for collective redundancies/mass layoffs?
No specific rules apply to collective redundancy or mass layoff. In practice, employers usually notify employees of a proposed collective redundancy or mass layoff and, as far as practicable, apply the redundancy procedure set out above.
What protections do employees have on dismissal?
Employees may challenge their dismissal by instituting an action at the NICN.
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