October 9, 2022

Contract staffing, outsourcing in banks, others: FG unveils employment guidelines



*Non-permanent financial institutions staff to get minimum wage, career path, etc

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

After ten years of intense discussions and negotiations among stakeholders, the Federal Government has released for implementation Guidelines on Labour and Administration Issues in Contract Staffing/Outsourcing Non-Permanent Workers in Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions.

The employment guidelines, a product of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI, National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees, NUBIFIE, among others, provide in clear forms good industrial relations principles and key terms and conditions of employment to be observed by stakeholders in the Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions.

The guidelines were signed into law on 8th September 2022 by the  Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, pursuant to the powers conferred on the Minister by Section 88 (i) (e) and (g) of the Labour Act, Cap L1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, was unveiled on September 29, 2022, at a ceremony in the Secretary to Government of the Federation, SGF, Conference room, Abuja.

At a joint briefing weekend in Lagos, leaders of ASSBIFI and NUBIFIE disclosed features of the guidelines including entry requirement and minimum pay for non-permanent employees, career path and development, the right to unionise and to collective bargaining, trade dispute resolution procedures, disciplinary procedure, compliance with standards and labour requirement and exit procedure and benefits for the workers.

According to the “Inferring from reliable but unempirical records available to us, most insider induced frauds, particularly in the banks are perpetuated by disgruntled casual employees. These employees do not have the training and orientations usually given to the regular employee, they do not have that sense of belonging because of their poor conditions of employment which open them to temptation.

“But today, with this guideline, the non-permanent employee can pursue a career line, unionise and draw from benefits of collective bargained agreements. Without doubts, the guidelines will bring fresh breath of life to many in the Sector, improve industrial relations, reduce incidence of fraud and increase productivity.”

Briefing on behalf of the two unions, the President of ASSBIFI, Oyinkan Olasanoye, informed that the “employment guidelines will improve job satisfaction and staff performance, reduce incidences of frauds traceable to discontented casual workers in the financial sector and generally reduce exploitation and other unfair labour practices capable of escalating industrial conflicts and crises in the work place. Also, it will regulate conditions of employment and standardize non-permanent employment, especially in the areas of career progression, salaries and wages, disciplinary measures, health and safety, corporate performance and productivity.

“The request for a guideline to regulate conditions of employment of non-permanent employees in the financial sector started a decade back, and with the active participation of representatives of the CBN, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, NECA, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, ASSBIFI and NUBIFIE. We are grateful to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris  Ngige, for accelerating the process which culminated in what we are presenting to you today, Employment Guidelines on “Labour Administration Issues in Contract Staffing/Outsourcing Non-Permanent Workers in Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions”. 

“With the signing and approval of this Guideline by the Government, relevant stakeholders, especially employers in the banks, Insurance and Financial sector, are implored to cooperate and collaborate with focal agencies of Government and Unions concerned to achieve the objectives of this guideline and improve industrial relations practices and standards in Nigeria.”

Collaborating the ASSBIFI’s President, NUBIFIE’s President, Abakpa Anthony, among others, solicited the cooperation of stakeholders including the media for the publicity of the guidelines and bringing same  to the knowledge of all operators in the Sector, adding “We struggled to ensure the formulation and put into operation of this Guideline to check unfair labour practices, exploitation and grievances in the sector.”