The Employee’s Compensation Act, 2010 is a social security/welfare scheme that provides comprehensive compensation to employees who suffer from occupational diseases or sustain injuries arising from accidents at workplace or in the course of employment. The basis or justification for ‘compensation’ is the employer’s duty of care. The idea of compensation suggests that someone has suffered a wrong for which he has to be compensated monetarily. This implies that another person has a duty to prevent the occurrence of the wrong suffered.
Payment of compensation by the employer to the employee is rooted in the accepted principle that the employer has a duty of care, a duty to protect the health, welfare and safety of workers at work. Where the worker sustains injuries, gets ill or dies in work-related circumstances, the employer is liable to pay compensation to the worker or to his dependents, in the event of death. The foregoing forms the underlying philosophy behind the enactment of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 2010 (hereinafter called “the Act”).
Overview of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 2010
The Employee’s Compensation Bill 2010 was signed into Law on 17th day of December 2010 by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Employee’s Compensation Act 2010 (“The Act”) -which repeals the Workmen’s Compensation Act Cap W6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 -is designed for an open and fair system of guaranteed and adequate comprehensive provisions for payment of compensation to employees who suffer from occupational diseases or sustain injuries arising from accident at workplace or in the course of employment.
Scope and Application
- The Act is applicable to all employers and employees in the public and private sectors in the Federal Republic of Nigeria [Section 2 (1)]. It however excludes any member of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria [Section 2 (3)].
- The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund Management Board (“The Board “) shall have the power to implement the
- Act and Employee’ Compensation Fund (“the Fund”) established under Section 56 of the Act.
- There shall be credited into the “ Fund” all moneys, funds or contributions by employers for adequate compensation to employees or their dependants for any death, injury, disability or disease arising out of or in the course of employment [Section 56 (1) ].
- The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSTIF) which has the power to implement the Act is a parastatal/ agency in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.