STATUS OF THE LAW ON TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT

Our Ref: NECA/LRT/B3
1st April, 2021
To: All Members of NECA
Dear Sir/Madam,

STATUS OF THE LAW ON TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT
As you are probably aware, the practice where an employer could terminate
contracts of employment with or without reason, provided the termination is with
notice or payment in lieu of notice, is no longer the position.

The above position is based on some judicial pronouncements, such as the case of:
Duru vs. Skye Bank Plc (2015) 59 N.L.L.R (Pt. 207) 680, Aloysius vs. Diamond
Bank Plc [2015] 58 N.L.L.R 92. In fact, in the case of Bello Ibrahim vs. EcoBank
Plc – NICN/ABJ/144/2018, it was held that an employer is bound to give reasons
for terminating the employment of an employee, the absence of which such
termination will be rendered ineffectual and declared wrongful.

In arriving at its decision, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) relied on
their powers provided in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and
the NICN Act to give effect to International Labour Standards and Best Practices.
The NICN thus, relied on Article 4 of Termination of Employment Convention of
1982 No. 158 of International Labour Organisation (ILO), which states: “the
employment of a worker shall not be terminated unless there is a valid reason for
such termination connected with the capacity or conduct of the worker or based on
the operational requirements of the undertaking, establishment or service”.

In the light of the foregoing, it is imperative for Employers to note the expanded
jurisdiction of the NICN in determining Labour matters. It is expedient, henceforth,
for Employers to be diligent in disciplinary records documentation as it may come
handy in times of need. Furthermore, employers are urged to be more circumspect
in their dealings and relationship with their employees, and always ensure the
determinations of an employment relationship are with justifiable reasons, in order
to avoid litigation that might become distractive, unnecessary and expensive.
Thank you.

Yours faithfully
Dr. Timothy Olawale
Director-General

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