The employment contract regulates the relationship between the employer and the employee.

8/31/20223 min read


The term "employment" refers to a two-party relationship that is typically based on a contract where work is compensated and whose construction or determination is based on giving the parties involved due notice. It is established law that the servant cannot get a certificate of certiorari or reinstatement if the master terminates the contract when there is an ordinary contractual relationship between master and servant. There can be no complaint if the master properly terminates the contract; nevertheless, if the master terminates the contract in a way that is not legal, the servant may seek damages.

The employment contract regulates the relationship between the employer and the employee. Prior to the commencement of the job, the parties will negotiate and come to an agreement on some contract parameters, such as the wage and the start date.

Section 9(7) of the Labour Act provides for termination of employment by expiry of the period for which it is made, by death of the worker before the expiry of that period, or by notice in accordance with Section 11, or in any other way in which a contract is legally terminable or held to be terminated.

Wrongful dismissal is typically a claim made by an employee under common law when he believes that his contract has been wrongfully repudiated by the employer or when he believes that his contract has not been terminated in accordance with the procedure outlined in the contract or in accordance with section 11 of the Labour Act 1971, Cap 198 LFN 2004.

When an employee is fired for misconduct or in violation of one of the grounds listed in Section 11 of the Labour Act, they may be entitled to damages for wrongful dismissal as a remedy. In other words, it is legal to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination on behalf of a fired employee. In cases where he can demonstrate that the employee was wrongfully fired, the employee is entitled to compensation as well as other equitable remedies, injunctions, specific performance, reinstatement, and re-engagement.


In order to determine the relevant remedies under any agreement between the employer and the employee, the first port of call would be the agreement itself. If no such provision exists, recourse would be the legislative provisions and judicial authorities. The remedies might be:


It was decided in the case of Western Development Corporation v. Jimoh Abimbola (1972) ANLR, pt. 2433 that the amount the plaintiff would have made if he had remained employed up until the time of the judgment served as the measure of damages for wrongful dismissal.


This is relevant in cases where the employment has a statutory flavor, i.e., the employment is supported by an existing piece of legislation, such as the public servants' act.


Upon termination of employment by an employer, the employee would be entitled to unpaid wages, payment in lieu of notice, if applicable, and other benefits. An employer may withhold unpaid wages or benefits to compensate an employee for wrongful termination, which occurs when no notice or payment in lieu of notice of termination was validly issued. Any party may be eligible for a certain amount of damages, where appropriate, to make up for actual losses or specific damages.

In conclusion, it is crucial for both employers and employees to have a written contract of employment because it is legally required, it clearly outlines the terms and conditions of employment for both parties, and it makes it simpler to rely on the written contract in the event of wrongful termination or any other employment-related dispute.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact



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