Coercive, unfair or deceptive recruitment Criminal liability Group or joint liability
Section 27 includes a number of provisions related to the recruitment of workers, including the recruiter’s obligation to keep records of every recruitment operation, the prohibition to assist a recruiter in a subordinate capacity unless the person concerned has been approved by the Minister and provided with written authorisation by the recruiter. Furthermore, if an offence is committed by the person assisting the reruiter, both the assistant and recruiter will be held criminally liable.
This provision seeks to address, among other issues, the issue of unauthorised recruiters or ‘agents’ engaging in recruitment on behalf of (or posing as) authorised recruiters. The provision establishes joint criminal liability of the recruiter and his or her assistant, effectively addressing situations in which a recruiter mght have looked to escape criminal liability by working through assistants engaged in activities in contravention of the law.
Under section 47, contravening this provision is an offence punishable with a fine of up to 2,000 naira, or to imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both.
Section 27. Recruiting: miscellaneous provisions.
(1) Every recruiter shall keep in the prescribed form records from which the regularity of every recruiting operation and of his own conduct can be verified and shall produce the records for inspection on demand by an authorised labour officer.
(2) No person shall assist a recruiter in a subordinate capacity in the actual recruiting operation unless he has been approved in writing by the Minister and has been furnished with written authority by the recruiter; and, where a recruiter’s assistant commits an offence under this Part of this Act, both the assistant and the recruiter shall be deemed to have committed the offence and shall each be liable on conviction to the penalty therefor.
(3) A recruiter who is the agent or assistant of another recruiter‐
(a) shall receive a fixed salary; or
(b) with the written approval of the Minister, may receive remuneration calculated at a rate per capita of workers recruited, the rate being specified in the approval.
(4) No recruiter shall recruit any young person: Provided that the Minister may in writing authorise the recruitment of young persons whose apparent age exceeds sixteen years with the consent of the parents or guardian for employment in an occupation appearing to the Minister not to be injurious to their moral or physical development, subject to such safeguards relating to their welfare as may be stated in the authorisation.
(5) No advance in excess of a total sum of ten naira shall be paid to any recruited worker in respect of wages prior to his employment, and any advance which is made shall be subject to such conditions as the Minister may direct generally or in respect of any particular case.
(6) In any case where a recruited worker is not engaged at or near the place of recruiting, the Minister may in his discretion require, either generally or in any specific recruiting operation, the issue to the worker of a document in writing containing particulars of‐‐
(a) the identity of the worker;
(b) the prospective conditions of employment; and
(c) any advance of wages made to the worker, and containing such other particulars as the Minister may consider necessary.
(7) The recruiting of the head of a family shall not be deemed to involve the recruiting of any member of his family.
(8) Where a worker’s family accompanies him to his place of employment under section 34 or 44 of this Act, he and the members of his family shall not be separated except at the express request of the persons concerned.
Law / Nigeria / Labour Act
The Nigerian Labour Act applies to all workers and to all employers, with the exception of the armed forces, the Police, prison staff and intelligence agencies. The Act was adopted in 1971, replacing the Labour Code Act and consolidating the law relating to labour and employment in Nigeria. The Act specifically prohibits forced or compulsory labour, and makes provision for the rights and entitlements of workers, the terms and conditions of employment including annual leave, maternity and sick leave, recruitment processes, working hours, payment of wages, and health and safety. Under the Act, it has also been made illegal for employers to prevent their employees from joining trade unions.