By ‘Seun Ibukun-Oni

The Senate on Tuesday resolved to amend the Labour Act, by reviewing fines upward.

The bill essentially seeks to review the present fines for offenses in the Labour Act which are now obsolete and bring them in line with modern realities.

The sponsor of the bill Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi told the House that the sanction, penalty, and interest payable under the Act are low and do not reflect current economic realities.

He further said the current provisions cannot provide the needed protection for workers in the labour market and there is a need to review these penalties upwards to achieve fair and harmonious employee relations.

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The amendment is proposing an upward review of the fines for neglect or ill-treatment of workers by employers from the present fine of N500 to the proposed fine of N500,000.

The fines for employers who deny maternity protection for female workers and employment of women in underground work or mines have been reviewed from N200 to N200,000.

Employment of young persons in unreasonable circumstances will now attract a fine of N200,000 as against the present fine of N100.