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Reps set to criminalise delay, non-payment of salary

This proposed legislation seeks to ensure the protection of workers' rights by holding employers accountable for timely salary disbursement, paving the way for a fairer and more transparent employment landscape.

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Reps set to criminalise delay, non-payment of salary

The House of Representatives in a significant move is championing the “Employees Remuneration Protection Bill, 2023,” aimed at making the delay or non-payment of salaries a criminal offense in Nigeria. Sponsored by Wale Hammed, the bill outlines stringent measures to ensure timely remuneration for workers.

Key provisions of the bill include:
1. Unlawful Acts: It declares it unlawful for any employer to refuse or neglect to pay employees’ remuneration, as specified in the Act.

2. Employee’s Right to Demand: Employees, if unpaid after the stipulated period, can serve a written demand for payment to their employer.

3. Legal Recourse: If an employee remains unpaid after five working days post-demand, they can seek redress in court through a motion on notice.

4. Penalties for Non-Payment: Individual employers convicted for non-payment face a jail term of three to six months without the option of a fine.

5. Corporate Entities: Corporate bodies failing to comply with court orders for payment may face a fine of N10,000 for each default day, potential closure for up to three months, or a fine for officers or agents permitting the default.

6. Employment Contract: Employers must provide a written employment contract, detailing employment nature, termination methods, remuneration, payment methods, and terms.

7. Protection from Retaliation: Employees seeking remuneration redress through the court are protected from disciplinary actions, queries, suspension, or dismissal.

8. Bankruptcy Protection: In the event of an employer’s bankruptcy, the bill prioritizes the payment of outstanding remuneration for employees.

READ ALSO: Senate uncovers N13bn illegal salary increase in NSPMC

This proposed legislation seeks to ensure the protection of workers’ rights by holding employers accountable for timely salary disbursement, paving the way for a fairer and more transparent employment landscape.

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