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Reps propose bill to punish employers for late, underpayment of salary, other entitlements

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The Speaker of the Ninth House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, is proposing a bill that will prohibit the late payment or underpayment of staff salaries and other entitlements across all sectors in Nigeria.

The bill also recommends penalties such as fines and imprisonment for employers who delay salary payments of their employees.

The bill reads in part: “An employer who withholds salary, wage, pension and any other benefit and emolument of any worker for a period of seven days and above, in respect of other monetary benefits shall pay 30 percent of such monetary benefits for the period.

“An employer who fails in its obligation for a period of 60 days and above shall be liable to fine of 30 percent of the wage for the duration and one-month imprisonment and 30 percent fine of two months’ wage for a period of 30 to 60 days.

“Fine of 20 percent of one month’s wage for a period of eight to 30 days; and 10 percent fine of the one month’s wage for a period of one to seven days respectively.”

The bill further recommends disciplinary measures for directors of public limited liability companies who default in the payment of salaries and other benefits to workers.

If passed into law, the legislation will be binding on all Nigerians working as a full employee or contract staff or apprentice either through oral or written agreement in both the public and private sectors.

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