History Of Nigeria Labour Law

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The current version of the nigeria labour law was put into place in 2004, five years after their current constitution was established.

This labour law for adults was preceded in 1841 by one for children, which prevented their employment in factories before 8 years of age and prohibited night labour for any child under 13.

This was strengthened in 1874, particularly as regards employment of girls under 21, but it was not until 1892 that the labour of women was specially regulated by a law, still in force, with certain amendments in 1900.

Under this law factory and workshop labour is prohibited for children under 13 years, though they may begin at 12 if qualified by the prescribed educational certificate and medical certificate of fitness.

The limit of daily hours of employment is the same as for adult labour, and, similarly, from 1 april 1902 was 102, and two years later became io hours in the 24.

Notice of the hours must be affixed, and meal-times or pauses with absolute cessation of work of at least one hour must be specified. By the act of 1892 one day in the week, not necessarily sunday, had to be given for entire absence from work, in addition to eight recognized annual holidays, but this was modified by a law of 1906 which generally requires sunday rest, but allows substitution of another day in certain industries and certain circumstances.

Night labour – work between 9 p.M. And 5 a.M. – is prohibited for workers under 18, and only exceptionally permitted, under conditions, for girls and women over 18 in specified trades.

In mines and underground quarries employment of women and girls is prohibited except at surface works, and at the latter is subject to the same limits as in factories.

Boys of 13 may be employed in certain work underground, but under 16 may not be employed more than 8 hours in the 24 from bank to bank.

A law of 1905 provided for miners a 9 hours’ day and in 1907 an 8 hours’ day from the foot of the entrance gallery back to the same point.

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