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WORKER AND EMPLOYEE UNDER THE LABOUR ACT

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As can be seen, the definition of worker under section 91(1) is restrictive given the persons exempted in terms of paragraphs (a) to (f) of the definition. The point is that section 91(1) defines a worker only for the purposes of the Labour Act; as such, not all employees are workers for purposes of the Labour Act. The category of persons under paragraphs (a) to (f) of the definition of a worker may thus be employees but not workers for purposes of the Labour Act. Section 91(1) of the Labour Act defines a worker by reference to an employer i.e. as one who entered into or works under a contract with an employer. So, who is an employer? The same section 91(1) defines an “employer” to mean “any person who has entered into a contract of employment to employ any other person as a worker either for himself or for the service of any other person, and includes the agent, manager or factor of the first-mentioned person and the personal representatives of a deceased employer”. The common denominator in the definition of a worker and an employer is the contract of employment. A “contract of employment” is thus defined by same section 91(1) to mean “any agreement, whether oral or written, express or implied, whereby one person agrees to employ another as a worker and that other personagrees to serve the employer as a worker”.

— B.B. Kanyip, J. Olatunji v UBER (2018) – NICN/LA/546/2017

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COURT WILL NOT IMPOSE EMPLOYEE ON EMPLOYER

Ordinarily and consistent with the common law principle, the Court will not impose an employee on an employer. – Karibe-Whyte, JSC. Chukwumah v. SPDC (1993) Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

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DUTY OF CLAIMANT TO PROVE CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT

It is the well settled position of law that a contract of employment is the bedrock upon which all employment relationships are formed and an aggrieved employee bears the evidential burden to place before the court his contract of employment and show in what way the terms and conditions were breached by the defendant. See F.M.C. Ido-Ekiti & Ors. v Alabi (2011) LPELR 4148 (CA).

— Adewemimo J. Afariogun v FUTA (2020) – NICN/AK/41/2017

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EQUAL SALARY FOR EQUAL WORK CANNOT BE APPLIED WHERE PAYMENT SOURCES ARE DIFFERENT

Para. 30: “Indeed, the principle of equality of salary, which implies the elimination of salary discrimination based on whatever criteria that may relate to the person of the salaried worker, does not apply to the diversity of the sources of remuneration. Here, the salaries proposed by the Defendants are to be paid, not from the funds of the Commonwealth, but from the budget of the Defendants themselves. This was what was established as a principle, by Court of Justice of the European Union, in the 17th September 2002 Judgment on Lawrence and Regent Office Care Ltd. & Others (Report 1-07325-C.C.E.E.) when it stated that “the principle of equal work, equal salary, does not apply when the observed disparities in remuneration cannot be attributed to a single source’.”

— Essien v. The Gambia (2007) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/05/07

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APPOINTED TO A POST BY A TERM OF STATUTE

Obeta v. Okpe (1996) 9 NWLR (Pt. 473) page 401 at pages 433 – 434, it was held thus:- “The proposition of law that a person appointed to a post for a term by statute has right to serve out his statutory term of his appointment is correct. He cannot be removed from the office by any person during the period except for a misconduct or when the, master body or institution he is appointed to serve dies or ceases to exist.”

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EMPLOYMENT OF STATUTORY FLAVOUR CAN BE DETERMINED BY THE STATUTE ONLY

NEPA v. Ango it was held as follows:- “An employee of an employer with statutory flavour has no right to terminate his appointment at will because the employee does not hold the appointment at the pleasure of such an employer. To determine the appointment, the employer has a duty to comply with the conditions precedent laid down in the conditions of appointment failing which such termination will be held to be ineffectual and void.”

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THREE CATEGORIES OF CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT

In C.B.N v Igwillo (2007) 4-5 SC 154 @ 172 lines 25-40 to be as follows: “The law is settled that there are now roughly three categories of contracts of employment viz: (a) those regarded as purely master and servant; those where a servant is said to hold office at the pleasure of the employer;...

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