Covid- 19: Some Legal Points for the Benefit of Employers and Employees

National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed a new 86 cases of coronavirus in Nigeria; 70 in Lagos, 7 in FCT, 3 in Katsina and Akwa Ibom, 1 in Jigawa, Bauchi and Borno.

Covid-19 is real. Has brought businesses to a halt and starved them of their income. Businesses/employers are therefore considering various options to minimize cost and loss, to wit: to ask employees to go on forced leave, with or without pay; refuse to pay salary; terminate staff employment; declare redundancy; or ask workers to continue or resume work.

To absolve it of liabilities, the option an employer chooses will likely be hinged on frustration or force majeure.That its ability to (fully) perform its obligations under the employment contract (EC) has been made impossible by Covid-19 (frustration) or Covid-19 constitutes an event envisaged under the EC that excuses the employer from (full or continuous) performance.

Reliance on frustration or force majeure may not be enough. An employer must further look to the terms of the EC,the employment handbook/policy & the laws regulating the sector concerned.Any breach of these instruments may render an employer liable in damages to the employee.

Lastly, with respect to workers who continue to work in this period, an employer is required to ensure that the workers do not contact Covid-19 in the course of their work. Where an employee contacts Covid-19, he(or possibly his survivors, if he dies) can bring an action…6/6. in tort for damages for breach of duty of care against the employer.

This thread is a legal teaser and does not by any means create lawyer-client relationship. Thus, readers are advised to seek further legal advice before acting on the content.

Ogbeni Sofo
the authorOgbeni Sofo
In my few years on this planet, I have learnt some core values of living. One of these is to live well and be truthful. In as much as I’d like to be your aproko mate, don’t mistake my facts for clickbaits. I write to inspire and educate. Sometimes, I might seems to be fortunate (without the UN prefix) to you but trust me, I am not who you think 🤔 I am. I am just me, OGBENI SOFO!

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