Employment Security

This page was last updated on: 2021-01-10

Written Employment Particulars

Contract of employment is any agreement, whether oral or written, express or implied, whereby one person agrees to employ another as a worker and that other person agrees to serve the employer as a worker. Employment contract are governed under the Labour Act however the Act is not applicable to persons exercising administrative, executive, technical or professional functions as public servants, or to any person employed on a vessel or on an aircraft to which the laws regulating merchant shipping or civil aviation already apply, among other classes of persons.

An employment contract must be concluded in written form, which must be given to the worker within three month of commencement of employment. A contract of employment must state the following information: the name of the employer or group of employers, and where appropriate, of the undertaking by which the worker is employed; the name and address of the worker and the place and date of his engagement; the nature of employment;  expiry date in case of fixed term contract; notice period given before termination of the contract; remuneration, method of its calculation and manner and frequency of payment; any terms and conditions related to working hours, or holidays and holiday pay, or incapacity for work due to sickness or injury, including any provisions for sick pay; and any special conditions of the contract.

The written statement referring to above mentioned terms may not confine only to the contract but extends to other documents like employer’s handbook or collective agreement, that are in worker's access.

Employer must notify the workers within a month regarding any subsequent changes in the terms mentioned above, in a form of written statement or if the employer does not provide written statement, employer must ensure the worker's access to the amended statement by other means.

If a worker starts employment with the same employer after the termination and the gap is less than six months, there is no need to issue a new written contract. Employer must inform the worker about the amendments regarding the terms in written statement. The obligation to provide a written statement do not apply if a worker has a written contract of employment which covers all the terms and a worker has a copy of that written contract.

Any amendments in the employment contract requires mutual agreement of the employer and the worker.

Source: §7 of the Labour Act (Cap L1 LFN 2004)

Fixed Term Contracts

Employment contract can be of fixed term or indefinite term. There are no special laws regarding fixed term contract. Labour law has not defined any statutory limit on maximum length of fixed term contract, number of renewals allowed, maximum length of fixed term contract including renewals and it seemingly does not prohibit fixed term contracts for tasks of permanent nature.

Source: §7(1) of the Labour Act (Cap L1 LFN 2004)

Probation Period

No provision could be located in law regarding maximum length of probation period. Law neither allows nor prohibit the employer to employee a worker on probation. However, the employer may in the contract of employment provide for probation period which if accepted by the employee becomes binding on the parties. Labour Act recognizes any special conditions of contract if agreed by the parties to be included in a contract of employment. As stated in section 7 of the Labour Act, employer has to provide a written statement of particulars to the worker within three months of starting an employment which can be considered similar to a probation period. Depending on the level of staff, the probationary period may vary between three (3) to six (6) months.

Source: §7 of the Labour Act (Cap L1 LFN 2004)

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