A bill in the House of Representatives which proposed stiff penalties for employers of labour in both the public and private sectors who fail to pay or delay the payment of workers’ salaries, has passed second reading on Tuesday, getting the support of the majority of lawmakers at a session presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal.
The bill also proposes that underpayment of workers’ wages; pension and emolument will attract sanctions. According to the sponsor of the bill and House Minority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, the penalties will include the loss of 10 to 20 per cent of the value of the delayed salary.
He explained that after a salary delay of one week, the employer would begin to lose percentages of the salary, which would be added to the employee’s pay: “Late payment or no payment of salary encourages corruption. People are forced to seek unlawful means to meet their financial and family obligations. It is our responsibility as legislators to protect the welfare of the citizenry. There is no point saying you have a job, yet no pay.
“This bill prescribes a period, beginning from seven days; the employer will pay a percentage in addition to the salary. From 10 per cent, it can rise to 20 per cent, and so on.”