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Review of decisions in labour and employment

Review of decisions in labour and employment
Photo by Kyle Glenn- Ask Nigeria

Reviewing significant decisions – labour and employment changes in 2022.

From a European conflict to a projected global recession, the aftershocks of a multi-year pandemic, and an impending national election at home, economies all around the world took a beating in 2022. Businesses, industries, and nations, for the most part, have remained adaptable and resilient while embracing innovation. During this period of breaking new ground, key court rulings had an impact on the emerging world of work. Within the restrictions of the medium, this article will look at the far-reaching, eyebrow-raising, and much-in-between verdicts of Nigeria’s labour court, the National Industrial Court. Two choices in the current fiscal year highlighted the persistent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, not only on public health and its coordinating systems, but also on workplace relations.

In Bamidele Niyi v Diya, Fatimilehin & Co. (Unreported Suit No. NICN/KD/31/2021, the judgment of which was given on October 14, 2022; per Hon. Justice S.O Adeniyi), the defendant used a handy and thinly disguised veil to avoid meeting obligations to pay outstanding salaries. In the second case, Rasak v Liquid Bulk (Unreported Suit No. NICN/PHC/103/2020, the judgment of which was issued February 09, 2022; per Hon. Justice N.C.S Ogbuanya), an employer attempted to justify terminating the claimant’s employment on account of the latter’s ‘job desertion at the workplace’. That is, the employee’s physical absence from a designated physical workplace during government-imposed lockdown procedures enacted to prevent the spread of the disease. In both decisions, the Court found unequivocally that the circumstances did not lend themselves to exonerating the offenders, and hence the defense could not bear judicial scrutiny.

Focused on stagnation of judicial officers’ remuneration and conditions.

Chief Sebastine Hon SAN v National Assembly (Unreported Suit No. NICN/ABJ/142/2022, ruling given July 15, 2022; per Hon. Justice O.A Obaseki-Osaghae) focused on the stagnation of judicial officials’ salaries and working conditions since 2008. Suffice it to say, it took the intervention of the same judiciary to order the National Assembly, the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to take immediate action to ensure that the salaries and allowances of judicial officers in the country are increased.

The decision in SPDC v Minister of Petroleum Resources (Unreported Suit No. NICN/ABJ/159/2018, delivered July 28, 2022; per Hon. Justice B.B Kanyip, PhD) heralds a marked revival of interest in, inter alia, the propriety (or otherwise) of the Minister of Petroleum’s (mandatory) approval/consent as a condition precedent to determining employment relationships in the oil and gas industry. The Court said unequivocally that Guidelines issued in addition to the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act of 2021 are legal and applicable to employment contracts in the petroleum industry. However, the reverberation echoes of this choice are far from inaudible. Suffice it to state that the last of the all-too-important allied matters addressed and resolved in the action at first instance may not have been heard.

Unfair Labour Practice and the compensatory Damages.

NICN’s judgment power over fact structures indicating unfair labour practice, as well as its auxiliary power to award compensatory damages, is now firmly settled. What has gradually emerged from the cases in recent years is the court’s benchmarking of the quantum of damages against a proportionate number of years’ worth of earnings the victorious claimant would have been entitled to, had employment lasted. It is now almost certain that there is a pattern in the granting of compensatory damages. The ruling in Olasewere v Airtel (Unreported Suit No. NICN/IB/90/2014, judgment given April 7, 2022; per Hon. Justice J.D Peters) raised worries over the level of damages costing millions in total.

Furthermore, the N60 million general damages that were awarded was the equal of two years’ wages. The actual facts proved an unjust termination of the claimant’s employment, as well as a taint on his character, remarkable career, and future employment chances. A veiled allegation of ‘improper behavior’, in particular, stained the claimant with guilt. Inexplicably, an additional N100 million in exemplary damages was given. The trial Judge in Nwankwo v Priscilla Olloh awarded the claimant an equivalent of three years gross salary as general damages after finding that the termination of the claimant’s hiring during her maternity period of leave was illegal and prejudicial against her on based on gender, pregnancy, childbirth, and marital status.

Damages were awarded based on the successful outcome of the case.

Similarly, in Dr. Ikenna v Zitadel Medicals, the court reviewed, among other things, the validity of terminating a medical practitioner on grounds touching on professional and/or medical negligence without a medical disciplinary process. The claimant’s case was successful, and the damages granted reflected ‘the baseless charge of professional negligence that has tarnished the claimant’s personal and professional integrity’. In Attah v Saii Associated Ltd/GTE, the court determined that the termination of the claimant’s job had some stigma attached to the claimant’s person and character, which the defendant was unable to substantiate. As compensation, the claimant was awarded the equivalent of two years’ wages.


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Admin
1
5 days ago

Review of decisions in labour and employmentReviewing significant decisions – labour and employment changes in 2022. – Express your point of view.

Abusi
Member
8
5 days ago

The labour and employment sector needs to be reviewed. Some decision making of the ministry last year made workers to engage in strikes which culminated into reducing the rate of efficiency and effectiveness in the sector.

Member
8
5 days ago

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a threat to both worker relations and public health, as evidenced by two decisions made during the current fiscal year.

Member
8
5 days ago

The economics of countries around the world took a hit due to a number of factors, including the ongoing conflict in Europe, the predicted worldwide recession, the aftershocks of a multi-year epidemic, and the upcoming national election in the United States.

Member
8
5 days ago

Reviewing the labor and employment sector is necessary. Several decisions made by the ministry last year led to strikes by employees, which ultimately resulted in a decline in the sector’s efficiency and effectiveness.

Member
8
5 days ago

The majority of companies, entire industries, and entire nations have maintained their capacity for adaptability and resilience while simultaneously welcoming innovation.

Member
8
5 days ago

Important court decisions had an effect on the developing labor market during this time period, which was marked by the breaking of new ground.

Member
8
5 days ago

Two decisions made this financial year emphasized the ongoing risk that the COVID-19 pandemic poses to public health and its coordinating systems, as well as to workplace relations.

Member
8
5 days ago

The defense could not withstand judicial scrutiny since the court came to the unequivocal conclusion that the facts did not lend themselves to exonerating the perpetrators of the crime.

Member
8
5 days ago

Now that this matter has been resolved, the NICN’s judgment power on fact structures suggesting unfair labor practice, as well as its auxiliary ability to award compensatory damages, are both solidified.

Member
8
5 days ago

Let it be enough to say that the final of the all too important allied concerns that were addressed and resolved in the case at first instance maybe did not get heard and that would be sad

Member
8
5 days ago

The employment and labor market must be examined. The effectiveness and efficiency of the sector as a whole declined as a result of several choices made by the ministry last year, which led to strikes by employees.

Member
8
5 days ago

The European conflict, the expected global recession, the aftershocks of a multi-year epidemic, and the US presidential election all hurt global economies.

Member
9
5 days ago

Review of decisio5ns in labour and employment. The COVID-19 pandemic really put the world on recession

Member
8
5 days ago

Most businesses, whole industries, and even countries have preserved their resilience and flexibility while actively inviting new ideas.

Member
8
5 days ago

The labour and employment sector as to be reassessed for effective and efficiency of the sector. Most decision made by the ministry cause misunderstanding with the employee

Member
8
4 days ago

Last year, the ministry took some decisions that led to strikes by employees, which ultimately decreased the rate of efficiency and effectiveness in the industry.

Member
8
4 days ago

It’s better we see positive changes. some decisions making of the ministry last year made workers to engage in strikes and has affect sectors(as the case maybe), really unfair.

Member
8
4 days ago

Definitely the labour and employment decision needs reviewing. From the report it is evident that the court judgment has been unfair
on labour practice and the compensatory damages.

Member
8
4 days ago

It is imperative that the labour and employment decision be reviewed. The court rulings have been very unfair on labour practice and compensatory damages. A balance need to be made between both to justify the case.

Member
9
4 days ago

There needs to be improved changes in our labour decisions inorder to favour the citizenry,the issue of Corona virus really affected the labour force and it’s still happening.

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