The Labour Relations Act sets out limitations to the amount of
compensation an employee can receive for being unfairly dismissed
or for being the victim of an unfair labour practice.
The compensation limits for a dismissal will depend on whether the
dismissal is classified as being "automatically unfair"
Section 194 of the LRA prescribes that if an employee's
dismissal is found to be procedurally unfair and/or substantively
unfair, then the employee may be awarded up to 12 months'
But if a dismissal is found to be automatically unfair an employee
is entitled to receive up to 24 months' compensation. In all
instances compensation is equal to the employee's remuneration
at the date of dismissal.
A dismissal will be classified as automatically unfair if it is due
to one of eight reasons stipulated in the LRA. They are:
If the employee was dismissed for his or her participation or
support of a protected strike or protest action.
If the employee was dismissed for refusing to do any work
normally done by an employee who is participating in a protected
If the employee was dismissed in order to force them to accept
a demand relating to a matter of mutual interest between the
employer and employee. A matter of mutual interest is any matter
relating to employment between the employee and employer. It can
relate to a right and can be resolved by resorting to industrial
action or a lock-out.
If the employee took or intended to take action against the
employer by invoking a right provided for in the LRA or
participated in any LRA proceedings.
If the employee's dismissal was as a result of any reason
relating to the employee's pregnancy or intended
If the employee was discriminated against due to their race,
gender, sex, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation,
age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, political opinion,
culture, language, marital status or family responsibility.
If the dismissal is as a result of a transfer of a business
from one entity to another.
If the dismissal is as a result of the employee making a
protected disclosure in terms of the Protected Disclosures Act
2000, then the dismissal would be classified as automatically
A protected disclosure is a disclosure made by an employee who
believes that the employer (or one of its employees) has or is
attempting to conceal that they have: committed or are likely to
commit a criminal offence; did not comply with a legal obligation;
endangered a person's health or safety; damaged the
environment; committed an unfair discrimination, or that a
miscarriage of justice has occurred.
The disclosure must be made to specified people in order to qualify
as a protected disclosure.
An employee who has been subjected to an unfair labour practice is
entitled to be awarded up to a maximum of 12 months'
However, simply because the law stipulates that an employee may get
12 or 24 months' compensation does not guarantee that this is
the award he will receive.
Generally the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration
and the Labour Court tend to be conservative in awarding
compensation and it is not common for employees to receive the
maximum compensation. Employees should therefore be realistic in
their expectations of the amount of possible compensation.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Employees must understand the notice periods stipulated by law. When an employee gives notice of their resignation to an employer, they is advising the employer that they will cease to work for the employer from a certain date.
Nigeria is a federal constitutional republic located on the west coast of Africa. Modern Nigeria has its origins as a British colony through the 19th and 20th century until it achieved independence in 1960.
The jurisprudential basis is pithily expressed as staying in sync with the global position on employment relationship, easily summed up as "International Labour Standard" and "International Best Practice".
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).