AN APPRAISAL OF EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION UNDER NIGERIAN LAW

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AN APPRAISAL OF EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION UNDER NIGERIAN LAW

Abstract:

Over the years, laws have generally evolved ways and grounds of compensating employees for job-related disabilities and risks, because, in man’s search for food and other necessaries in life, he is constantly exposed to hazards. What provoked this research was the need for an appraisal of the employees’ compensation under Nigerian law. Employees’ Compensation Act 2010 is the present Act governing compensation for job-related risks in Nigeria. This research adopted a doctrinal method and empirical method. The empirical method adopted is the interview method conducted at the headquarters of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Management Board. The doctrinal method explored relevant Acts, case laws, textbooks, journals, literature etc for a good understanding of the provisions of the Employees’ Compensation Act, 2010.There is an attempt by the Act to simplify the procedure and requirements for claim of compensation but some inherent problems exist;. Findings in the research revealed that the Board has not made the Rules which the Act empowers it to make in respect of some cases of compensation whose scales are not contained in the Act. Also, the research also revealed some likely enforcement problems within the informal sector. Findings revealed that job-related ‘mental stress’ has for the first time been introduced as a ground for compensation of employees in Nigeria but there are still some inadequacies in the provisions; for example, ‘mental stress’ is not compensable if it results from an injury for which the affected employee is otherwise entitled to compensation. Findings among others also reveal that there exist too much discretionary powers bestowed on the Board (Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund Management Board) the body that the Act empowers to manage the Fund established in the Act. Health care benefits are discretionary and are only mandatory in cases of occupational diseases. There should be compensation for ‘mental stress’, irrespective of whether or not it results from an injury for which the affected employee is entitled to compensation. Payment for health care services and disability supports should be made a right in all established cases. The Board should hasten up to make the required Rules which shall provide the scales of compensation not captured in the Act or the Act be amended to capture all the scales of compensation in its provisions. The Board should partner with all village and district heads in enforcing the scheme at the informal sector

AN APPRAISAL OF EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION UNDER NIGERIAN LAW

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