By  Funmi Komolafe

RECENTLY, a bank  ‘employee’ engaged on contract basis indeed an outsourced worker was engaged in momumental  fraud in a bank .   His arrest once more brought to the fore the issue of who should be engaged and which section of the an industry as sensitive as the banking industry should depend on  outsourced employees.

THE 3rd Annual General Meeting of the Human Capital Providers Association of Nigeria (HuCaPan)  provided an opportunity for professionals to discuss this issue.

HuCaPan is an association of professionals who are engaged in the business of outsourcing as employment agencies and Labour contractors.  They are registered by the federal ministry of labour and producitivuty.

Early this year, HuCaPan launched a Code of Conduct for its members.

The President of the Association , Mr. Neye Enemigin  said  his  members ensure that employers keep  to the best practices  while engaging outsourced employees and also ensure that the employee is not denied his or her benefit.  For instance he said, his organization insists on compliance with  the nation’s labour laws. He  however said there are other issues which they would like the federal ministry of labour to address.

HuCaPan  demands: “ The need for Nigeria to ratify International Labour Convention( ILO) 181- Private Employment Agencies Convention , 1997 which came to force in 2000”. His explanation, “ This Convention has been ratified by 27 countries  including 3 African  of  Algeria, Morocco and Ethiopia.  With the ratification, HuCaPan can better contribute to decent jobs and social justice”.

An issue that  HuCaPan wants the ministry of Labour to adjust  is the duration of the Recruiter’s License.  This, Mr. Enemigin said “ should be extended from one year to at least four or five years .  This will free the ministry valuable time which can be channeled into administering the scheme”.  He described   the process as “ cumbersome and demanding”.

The Association’s President also called on the state controllers of the federal  ministry of labour and productivity  to “ develop and ensure  closer working relationship with HuCaPan  with a view to rid  our industry of quacks and checkmate  some unscrupulous  employers who continue to exploit workers  and are not prepared to comply with minimum labour and employment requirements”.

Labour Ministry tasks  HuCaPan: The ministry of labour proved that the  trade unions or associations of employers do not have a monopoly of making demands.  The Controller of Labour in federal ministry of labour and productivity, Lagos office, Mrs.  Nofisat  Arogundadade told the Association members “ To ensure effective management of outsourcing, stakeholders in the business i.e.  Recruiter, the Principal, Trade Union, Human Resources Practioners  inclusive  should address  the following critical  areas of concern”.

She listed them as “ Knowledge of the application of International Labour  Organizations core standards and Nigeria  Labour Legislations, Classification of the Business of the Company into core and non-core, Migration of employees from Contract to Permanent Employment, Unionism, Collective Bargaining, Job Security and Capacity building for contract staff, Vicarious Liability and Dispute Resolution”.

Her demands include “Addressing the issue of the problems of contract staff such as poor remuneration, employers firing without due process, and preventing such employees from unionization and  other benefits”.  Mrs. Arogundade urged members  to be  concerned  about “ complaints of unfair labour practices arising from contract staffing or outsourcing of  employment in some companies which have brough about serious concerns”.

She said “ the ministry of labour has been responsive with strengthening of monitoring and enforcement also issuance of drafting Guidelines on outsourcing in various industrial sectors”.

Ministry  to promote fair labour practices: Mrs. Arogundade who represented labour minister, Chief Emeka Wogu  urged all service providers to render quarterly reports to the ministry of labour which includes the names of workers employed and recruited,  where work  is being performed  and  the nature  of work.

She said  once this is done, the  process of renewal of recruiters licence would be easier for both the Recruiter and the ministry of labour and gave an assurance that “ the ministry is irrevocably committed to the best  labour practice as provided for in our labour laws, international standards and  your Code of Conduct”.

On his part, the labour controller for Ogun state, Mr. Anthony Olawuni  while congratulating HuCaPan for holding its 3rd Annual General Meeting when due, said, “ the fact is incontestable that of all the factors of production, human capital remains the most dynamic as it is the factor that co-ordinates, controls and puts all other factors to work in the quest to having the desired  productivity in any nation and this is why your association is central and very relevant in achieving the transformation agenda of the present administration “.

He said the ministry will continue to  collaborate with HuCaPan in its effort to “ standardize the business of out sourcing in Nigeria by getting rid of quacks who go around assisting the employers who are of the opinion that  out sourcing is another name for workers causalisation and who are poised to frustrate the helpless Nigerian  worker  through its introduction”.

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