Section 49-53 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004
Section 49, 50, 51, 52, 53 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004 is under Part III (Special Classes Of Worker And Miscellaneous Special Provisions) of the act, and collectively titled ‘Apprentices‘.
Section 49 of the Labour Act 2004
Contracts of apprenticeship
(1) The parent or, in the case of an orphan, the guardian of a young person above the age of twelve years and under the age of sixteen years may, with the consent of that person testified by his execution of a written contract of apprenticeship, apprentice that person to an employer to train him or have him trained systematically for a trade or employment in which art or skill is required, or as a domestic servant, for any term not exceeding five years.
(2) Where a young person above the age of twelve years and under the age of sixteen years is without known parents or a guardian, an authorized labour officer may authorize the apprenticeship of that person and appoint some fit and proper person to execute the written contract of apprenticeship and act generally as guardian of that young person.
(3) Any young person of the age of sixteen years or above not being under any contract of apprenticeship may apprentice himself for any term not exceeding five years to any trade or employment in which art or skill is required.
(4) The age of any person may, where no register of births is available, be enquired into and determined by the authorized labour officer before whom a contract of apprenticeship is attested in accordance with section 50 of this Act; and the age so determined shall be conclusive for the purposes of sections 49 to 53 of this Act.
(5) Every contract of apprenticeship may, with the consent of the parties, be assigned by the employer.
(6) A magistrate’s court (or, in a State where a magistrate’s court has no civil jurisdiction, a district court) shall have power and jurisdiction to hear and determine any question arising out of a contract of apprenticeship or any dispute between any of the parties to such a contract, whether arising from breach of the contract or otherwise, and for that purpose shall have all the powers conferred upon a magistrate’s court or district court, as the case may be, by sections 80 to 85 of this Act.
Section 50 of the Labour Act 2004
(1) Every contract of apprenticeship and every assignment thereof shall be in writing; and no such writing shall be valid unless attested by and made with the approval of an authorized labour officer certified in writing under his hand on the contract or assignment.
(2) Before attesting any contract of apprenticeship, an authorized labour officer shall-
(a) ascertain that the apprentice has consented to the contract and that his consent has not been obtained by coercion or undue influence or as the result of misrepresentation or mistake; and
(b) satisfy himself that-
(i) the apprentice has been medically examined and certified by a qualified medical practitioner to be physically and mentally fit to be employed and trained in the employment specified in the contract,
(ii) the parties to the contract have fully understood the terms of the contract before signing it or otherwise indicating consent,
(iii) provision has been made in the contract as to the manner in which any remuneration in cash or otherwise due to the apprentice shall be determined and as to the scale of increase in remuneration during the course of the apprenticeship,
(iv) provision has been made in the contract for payment of remuneration to the apprentice during illness and during holidays, if any,
(v) where the apprentice is unable by reason of his apprenticeship to return to his home at the end of each day, the contract contains adequate provision to ensure that the apprentice is supplied with food, clothing, accommodation and medical attention, and
(vi) the terms of the contract are in accordance with any regulations made under section 52 of this Act.
Section 51 of the Labour Act 2004
Retention of apprentice after expiry of contract
If any person with whom an apprentice has been placed, retains the apprentice in his service after the stipulated period of service has expired without any agreement between the parties for the payment of wages, the apprentice shall be entitled to recover from the person so retaining him wages at the ordinary current rate payable for service similar to that performed by the apprentice.
Section 52 of the Labour Act 2004
The Minister may make regulations providing for-
(a) the form of contracts of apprenticeship, the terms and conditions upon which contracts of apprenticeship may be lawfully entered into and the duties and obligations of apprentices and their masters;
(b) the registration of contracts of apprenticeship with a specified officer;
(c) the number of apprentices who may be apprenticed during a specified period in any specified trade or employment;
(d) the technical and other qualifications of employers entitling them to take and train apprentices;
(e) the conditions governing the entry of persons over twelve and under sixteen years of age into apprenticeship;
(f) the mutual rights and obligations of employer and apprentice;
(g) the supervision to be established over apprenticeship, with a view to ensuring in particular that the regulations governing apprenticeship and the terms of any contract of apprenticeship are observed, that the training is satisfactory and that there is reasonable uniformity in the conditions of apprenticeship; and
(h) the holding of examinations of apprentices on the expiry of the period of apprenticeship and, where necessary, in the course of apprenticeship, determining the methods of organizing the examinations and the issue of certificates based on the results thereof.
Section 53 of the Labour Act 2004
(1) Any person who removes or attempts to remove any apprentice who is above the age of twelve years and under the age of sixteen years from Nigeria without the authority in writing of the Minister shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N500 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or to both.
(2) Any person who employs an apprentice for more than six months on a contract which has not been attested under section 50 of this Act or induces or attempts to induce any apprentice to quit the service of his employer shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N200 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both.