Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives, yesterday, passed for second reading a bill seeking to criminalise causalisation and outsourcing of jobs in the country.
The bill, which seeks to amend the Labour Act, if passed into law will prohibit and criminalise causalization of workers after six months of engagement by employers in the country and outsourcing of jobs is sponsored by Wale Raji.
According to the bill, a violation of proposed law will attract a fine not exceeding two million naira or a imprisonment for a period of two years, or both, in the case of a”natural “ individual, while the case of a corporate body, there shall be a fine not exceeding two million naira or imprisonment for a period of two years, for each director of the company.
Raji, in his lead debate, accused multinational companies operating in the telecom and oil and gas sectors of contributing to the economic crisis in the country by outsourcing jobs in their core mandate areas, even when such jobs can be handled by Nigerians.
The lawmaker stated that the bill seeks to prohibit outsourcing of jobs, which Nigerians do perform, to nationals of other countries, as well as make it mandatory for the regularisation of a worker’s employment after six months of their engagement.
According to him,the proposed “amendment is intended to abolish the obnoxious practice of casualization of a worker’s employment by creating a new section 8 which provides that an employer has a period of not less than six (6) months of engaging a worker to regularize his appointment as a full and permanent staff.
“It also provides that in the event of disengagement of a worker after a period of six (6) months from the date of first engagement without regularisation, the worker shall be entitled to full salary, allowance and other benefits due to a permanent staff upon disengagement, provided that the worker has not been found liable of a criminal act involving fraud resulting to financial loss to the company.
“Upon the breach of the above provision, the proposed section 8(3) paragraph (a-b) provides the punishment for a natural person and corporate bodies respectively.”
The lawmaker added that “the concept of outsourcing of employment within the core areas of business of an employer was not anticipated during enactment of the extant law and the employers of labour in Nigeria have exploited this lacuna in outsourcing of jobs within their core areas of business to the disadvantage of the Nigerian workers.
“These employers of labour have taken undue advantage of unemployment situation in the country to practice slave labour. Employers in the banking, telecoms and the oil and gas industries are the worst culprits.
“To cure these anomalies, we have proposed a new section 9 which is to the effect that notwithstanding the provisions of section 25 of the extent Labour Act, employment outsourcing within an employer’s core area of business is prohibited and it will be an offence for a person or company to engage in such practice.”