Posted by Kehinde Akintola, Abuja | 1 September 2019 | 1,091 times
Succour will soon come the way of workers as House of Representatives is planning to initiate a legislation which seeks to ensure prompt payment of salaries, pensions and other emoluments to workers across the country.
A bill for an Act to prohibit late payment, underpayment of workers’ wage, pension and other emoluments in Nigeria, sighted by Sunday Tribune as being sponsored by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, prescribes penalties for violations and other related matters.
As provided in Clause 4(3) of the bill, “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 per cent of such monetary benefits for the period.”
As provided in the Schedule 1 of the bill, which stipulates the penalties, “an employer who fails in its obligation for a period of 60 days and above shall be liable to fine of 30 per cent 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 per cent of one month’s wage for a period of eight to 30 days; and 10 per cent fine of the one month’s wage for a period of one to seven days respectively.”
The bill also provides sanctions for directors of public limited liability companies who default in the payment of salaries and other benefits that accrued to workers.
The legislation is applicable to Nigerians working as full employee or contract staff/apprentice (either through oral or written agreement) in the public and private sectors.
Recall that various stakeholders including Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliates have over the years expressed displeasure over the level of impunity being perpetuated by employers of labour.
In the same vein, Nigerian Union of Pensioners had also expressed displeasure over the attitude of National Pension Commission (PenCom) for failing to enforce several provisions of the Pension Reform Act, 2014, which stipulate sanctions for erring employers.
They have equally also expressed reservation over the Commission’s failure to protect whistle-blowing employee in the new guideline.
However, the Commission had in March 2019, announced the recovery of N15.31 billion from defaulting employers, who failed to remit the pension deductions of their workers into the workers’ Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA). (Sunday Tribune)
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