Examination Of The Duties Of The Employer and Employee Under The Nigerian Employment Law
This paper Examination Of The Duties Of The Employer and Employee Under The Nigerian Employment Law, examines the duties imposed on both the employee and the employer under the Nigerian employment contract. Any agreement in which one party agrees to engage another as an employee or worker and the other agrees to serve the employer in the role of an employee is regarded as an employment contract. The phrase “employer” refers to a person who engages someone as a worker, either for himself or for the benefit of another. Additionally, the word includes the representative of a deceased employer and the agent of the first individual mentioned. An “employee” is a person who is engaged by an employer under the terms of a contract, regardless of whether the employment is continuous, temporary, apprenticeship, or casual. This term includes domestic workers who are not members of the employer's family, as well as anybody who works for the municipal, state, or federal government. As a result of the nature of the relationship between an employer and an employee, both sides are legally obligated to fulfill specific responsibilities. Paying money, giving work, and providing proper protection for employees against accidents experienced on the job are some of the duties of the employer, while the employee's responsibilities include obedience and loyalty.
The Nigerian worker must be able to fully engage in the nation's economic, social, and political progress, according to the country's constitution, which lists this as one of its own objectives. It says that the state's policy must aim to achieve, among other things, the following:
a) All citizens, without exception and for any cause, have the opportunity to obtain sufficient means of sustenance and appropriate possibilities to find suitable employment;
(b) working circumstances are equitable and courteous towards workers;
(c) the health, safety, and welfare of all those engaged in employment are safeguarded and not put in peril or exposed to abuse;
(d) there is no discrimination based on sex or any other factor with respect to the compensation received for similar quantities of work .
It is the duty and responsibility of all levels and branches of government, as well as all authorities and persons who exercise legislative, executive, or judicial powers, to comply with, observe, and execute these orders.  Despite the fact that these rights, if they can be regarded rights at all, are not justiciable rights [3,] there is little doubt that they serve as a critical standard by which the rationality, if not the constitutionality, of our labor laws may be evaluated. This is something that cannot be contested.
The Constitution, several Acts of Legislation, and Common Law all contribute to the development of Labor Law. The common law consists of the legal precedents made by courts in England and Nigeria . Even though their opinions are often accorded the highest respect in real practice, English court decisions are just persuasive. Common law countries that are not members of the commonwealth but have a common law system are also helpful. It seems that our country's labor rules have not been affected in any manner by our customary legal system.
In this chapter, I will discuss the background of my study on Examination Of The Duties Of The Employer and Employee Under The Nigerian Employment Law, highlight the statement of the problem that this project aims to resolve, reveal the objective I had in mind when I set out to conduct this study, define the scope of my study, and pose pertinent research questions that will aid in the development of my research methodology. A review of the relevant scholarly literature and research will reveal that our courts are progressively focusing on the law governing an employer's obligation to his employee. This is a departure from the past, when, as I noted in my abstract, the legislation favored only labor employers. In this chapter, I will also discuss the current legal framework that governs the interaction between an employer and his employee.
1.1 Background of The Study
If the parties in a given scenario were to renege on their commitments without assuming extra responsibilities, the situation would be plagued with interminable complications, making it almost impossible to continue doing business.
It is fair to assume that a modern conventional employment contract will establish a legally enforceable agreement between the employer and employee. The terms must be stated in writing, and the employee must get a copy of the document within a reasonable timeframe. This will enable the employee to be informed of any contract conditions that have been violated, a need for determining liability. It is also expected of the contracting parties that they would comply to the terms insofar as they affect them personally. The implicit terms of the contract must also be respected, and the process for terminating an employee's employment must adhere to labor law and natural justice principles. Is this the current state of law and practice in Nigeria's labor market? Without a doubt not.
The master-servant relationship imposes certain duties on the employer, and he is expected to fulfill these responsibilities toward his employee, provided that the employee does his or her own work in a dependable, honest, and reputable way. If any party breaks the provisions of the gentleman's agreement, that party will be held liable for the violation by the other party. Employer liability has typically gotten little or no attention, especially in circumstances when the employer breaches the terms of the contract or fails to execute or carelessly fulfills the tasks he owes his employee.
The seeming neglect and inertia (idleness) by the authorities of this vitally important topic of law has prompted research, especially now that Nigeria as a developing nation is experiencing industrial growth. This carelessness and indifference (idleness) on the part of the government has sparked studies.
1.2 Statement of The Problem
It is an inquiry of the present state of the law, with the objective of assessing how legislation and regulations have attempted to defend the interests of workers, and how far or to what degree the courts have protected these interests. This legal inquiry is being conducted.
There have been cases of employers violating the terms of the contract without complying to the standards set for labor law and practice in Nigeria as well as the principles of natural justice. The employee was pushed into retirement, laid off during a restructuring, or dismissed unfairly for political, social, or economic reasons. It is conceivable that the employee's services are no longer required in the present either “because the company is unable to get an import license for the purchase of raw materials or until the nation's current economic condition improves.” To add insult to injury, he is often terminated without sufficient compensation and in breach of the contract provisions.
1.3 Objectives of The Study
The fundamental purpose of this research is to uncover and bring to the forefront, in the first instance, for any potential employee and employer, respectively, the fact that all employers are required by law to strictly adhere to the terms of the contract they have entered into with their employee.
The secondary purpose of this research is to uncover and emphasize that all employers are required by law to adhere to the conditions of the contract.
As a morale booster for workers, on the need to seek redress if there is/are perception(s) of violation of the conditions and responsibilities, since it will go a long way in making our labor system and employers more responsive and compelled to fulfill the duties imposed by law to their employees. As a morale enhancer for workers, the need to seek redress when there is a sense of a violation of terms and duties.
It will also develop and strengthen our existing case laws and legislations on labor and employment law, and it will provide ready-to-use information on what the law has said in the past, what it is saying now, and what it is likely to say based on precedent for any case based on labor law and practice in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
Based on specific outstanding problems in labor and employment law, the research questions formulated for the purposes of this study are geared at civil servants and legal professionals and are based on unresolved issues in labor and employment law. In addition to the personal information they gave, the following are my research questions:
Under what specific conditions may it be said that an employer has breached the terms of the contract, hence creating liability?
Does the law afford any form of remedy for the unhappy worker notwithstanding the stringent constraints imposed by the rules and regulations?
Is it still feasible for the law to safeguard workers against such careless employers?
How have laws and courts safeguarded and defended the rights of an innocent worker, and to what extent?
The aforementioned issues will serve as the basis for this inquiry into legal questions.
1.5 Significance of The Study
Employers must now be more careful and vigilant in their interactions with their employees so as not to violate the terms of their contract or the legal requirements placed upon them. This is because workers are becoming more aware of their legal rights.
This study indicates that employees will begin to assert their legal rights when their rights are infringed by their employers. Legal professionals, law students, and the general public are becoming more concerned about and curious about the liabilities that companies face when they fail to uphold their obligations to their employees.
1.6 Scope of The Study
Within the expansive, intricate, and intricately sectioned field of employment law, my focus is limited to an employer's liability to his employees, the various laws that apply to regulate labor practice in Nigeria, and, most importantly, case laws, which are the basis for the vast majority of tortious claims. During the course of this project, we will endeavor to undertake a thorough investigation into the underlying cause, if any, for the employer's blatant disregard for the contractual terms and labor laws.
I refer to the utilization of both primary and secondary sources of information as the “ideal approach” for doing research on a topic as complex as employment law. The primary source consists of questionnaires sent to employees and one-on-one interviews with prominent legal practitioners about a number of highly disputed and open-ended elements of their profession. The results are just astonishing. The secondary sources include of books, academic journals, and newspapers, as well as articles and information from reliable websites.
Examination Of The Duties Of The Employer and Employee Under The Nigerian Employment Law