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The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment (the “Ministry”) has released the Guidelines on Labour Administration Issues in Contract Staffing/Outsourcing Non-Permanent Workers in Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (the “Guidelines”) effective 8 September 2022. The Guidelines seeks to set the basic terms and conditions to be observed by financial institutions and insurance companies in engaging contract staff or outsourcing of non-permanent workers.

The Guidelines are a product of years of negotiations among stakeholders in the financial sector including the Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”), the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (“NECA”), the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (“ASSBIFI”), the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (“NUBIFIE”).

Scope of Application of the Guidelines

The Guidelines do not define financial institutions but based on the provisions of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act[1] and extant rules of the Central Bank of Nigeria, financial institutions include commercial banks, merchant banks, microfinance banks, primary mortgage banks, payment service banks, Development Finance Institutions, finance companies, discount houses and Bureau De Changes. Insurance Institutions are also not defined in the Guidelines but there is a definition in the National Insurance Commission Act[2] that can be also used as a guide.[3]

 It will be necessary to consider the scope of application of the Guidelines as its provisions may not be applicable to all categories of contract staff or non-permanent employees engaged by financial institutions.

This is because the Guidelines is issued pursuant to section 88(1)(e) and (g) of the Labour Act (the “Act” or “LA”)[4] and the Act itself is limited in its scope. In that regard, a ‘worker’ is defined in the Act to mean, “any person who has entered into or works under a contract with an employer, whether the contract is for manual labour or clerical work or is expressed or implied or oral or written, and whether it is a contract of service or a contract personally to execute any work or labour“.

It is established law that a subsidiary legislation derives its authority from the principal law and cannot vary or alter the principal law or be inconsistent with its provisions.[5]

An Analysis of the Guidelines on Contract Staffing by Financial Institutions in Nigeria
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