COVID 19 AND EMPLOYMENT MATTERS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The emergence of the coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic has affected lives, households and businesses all over the world. Many businesses are either operating skeletally or have shut down, finding it impossible to continue to operate due to the impact of the COVID 19 on the economy and in essence, their businesses. As a consequence, the impact of COVID 19 has raised several employment questions from employers and employees which require answers from labour law experts. We have set out in this FAQ, some frequently asked questions posed by clients.
- What are the legal ramifications in the event where an employer has refuses or neglects to remit deducted pension contributions to an employee’s pension manager?
The Pension Reform Act 2014, which governs the pension framework and procedure in Nigeria, mandates every employer to deduct from each employee’s salary, his or her monthly pension contribution and such employer shall not later than 7 working days from the day the employee’s salary is paid to the employee, remit an amount comprising the employee’s contribution and the employer’s contribution to the employee’s pension fund custodian. An employer that fails to either deduct or remit an employee’s pension contributions within the prescribed period shall be liable to a penalty of not less than 2% of the total contribution that remains unpaid for each month or part of each month the default continues, in addition to making the remittance already due. The penalty is regarded as a debt owed by the employer to the employee’s RSA and recoverable as such.
2. Does any statutory body in Nigeria have the power to compel companies or employers to use lockdown days as annual leave days?
Generally, unless empowered by an enabling law, no statutory body has the authority to compel companies or employers to use lockdown days as annual leave days for employees. This is because under the Nigerian Labour Act, employment is a creation of contract and the provisions of the employment contract would generally provide for an annual leave period. Thus, whether lockdown days may be used as an annual leave period will have to be a subject of engagement between the employer and the employee.