Nigeria - HR & HR Software Guide

Country Overview:

Nigeria is the largest economy (21st largest in the world) and the most populous country in Africa. It has an emerging market and a re-emergent manufacturing sector that caters to the demands of the West Africa subcontinent. Nigeria is largely dependent on its oil and natural gas exports for its economy, but the country encourages the inflow of foreign investments for industrial diversification. Foreign and domestic investors are treated equally, especially those companies are encouraged that are interested in joint ventures and long-term investment.


Nigerian Naira

Principal Language:

Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Urhobo


Federal Presidential Republic

Capital City:


Major Provinces:

Lagos, Benin City

Regular work schedule is set by a mutual employer-employee agreement or with a collective bargaining agreement within an organization or industry.

The Labour Act prohibits children under age 16 from working more than 4 uninterrupted hours or more than 8 hours per day.

The weekly time off may be substituted with compensatory time off, in case circumstances do not permit a rest day in a particular week, within the following 14 days or the payment of overtime wages.

Employers must get an hour of rest after working 6 or more hours a day. Female workers are not allowed to engage in manual labor during night shifts. Minors are not allowed to work in night shifts.


The Labour Act of Nigeria does not specify a wage rate for overtime. Employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements establish the payment for overtime in the country.


  • Jan. 1: New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • May 1: Worker’s Day
  • May 29: Democracy Day
  • Oct. 1: Nigerian National Day
  • Dec. 25: Christmas Day
  • Dec. 26: Boxing Day

In addition, the following Islamic holidays are also celebrated. Those dates vary every year:

  • Eid al-Fitr
  • Eid al-Adha
  • Eid-el-Malud.

Employees working on a public holiday receive 200% of their usual pay. Public holidays falling on a weekend are not shifted to another date.

Annual Leave

Employees are entitled to annual leave for a minimum of 6 working days at full pay after 12 months of uninterrupted service. Workers aged less than 16 years, including apprentices, must get fully paid annual leave of 12 working days.

Employees and employers may delay taking or granting accrued annual leave for up to 24 months, but employers are not allowed to pay remuneration in lieu of annual leave.

Maternity Leave

A pregnant employee gets 12 weeks of maternity leave which commences 6 weeks prior to her due date. If she has worked for the employer for 6 months or more before the beginning of her maternity leave, the employer is required to pay at the rate of 50% of her regular wages during maternity leave.

A pregnant employee is not allowed to work for 6 weeks after delivery. After returning to work, she gets an additional 30 minutes nursing time twice a day to feed or look after her child.

Paternity Leave

There is no provision for paternity leave in Nigeria.

Sick Leave

An employee gets paid sick leave for 12 days per year, subject to certification by a health care provider.

Other Leave

An employee can take compassionate leave for certain events in the family such as the death of a loved one. The duration of absence will depend on the situation in question. The employer needs to continue paying the worker’s salary fully or partially in this period.

Pension & Social Security

There is no standard retirement age in Nigeria. The retirement age is determined by an individual worker’s terms and conditions of employment. However, if an employee retires before age 50, there will be a 6-month waiting period to commence benefits.

In the case of companies with 15 or more employees, the total social security pension contribution is 18% (10% for employers and 8% for employees) of the employee’s total earnings specified in the employment contract, shall not be less than a total sum of basic salary, housing allowance and transport allowance.

An employer may take full responsibility for the pension contribution. In such cases, the total contribution rate will be 20% of employees’ monthly earning.

Workers’ Compensation

Employers in Nigeria need to make a minimum contribution of monthly payroll’s 1% into the Employees’ Compensation Fund.

Employees or their survivors qualify to claim compensation from the fund in cases of a disease, death, injury, mental stress, disability and hearing problems that arise during employment. In addition to compensation, the fund provides rehabilitation, vocational and counseling services for injured employees.

Life Insurance

Employers are required to provide a life insurance policy for each of their employees to guarantee a lump sum payment equaling 3 times the employee’s annual income or more.

Mandatory Health Insurance

Nigeria requires all employers to provide employees with an approved health insurance as part of its National Health Insurance Program. The plan guarantees employees with some minimum benefits and is regulated by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

All employers in the organized private sector employing 10 or more workers are required to withhold contributions for National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and make some additional contributions too.

Employers are required to contribute 10% of employee salary and withhold 5% of employee salary. Additional charges apply to employees who wish to get their spouse and up to 4 children enrolled in the scheme.

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  • Improve employee time tracking and leave management while ensuring compliance with local labor laws and work-time regulations.
  • Store, manage, and track employee data on a single, secure system. Improve access and visibility, while built-in guidelines help you maintain legal compliance and audit readiness.
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  • Provide your employees with the support they need with 24/7 access to our Employee Helpdesk.
  • One HR software for your global needs
  • Ensured compliance with in-country employment and labor laws
  • Connectivity and integrations with ERP and Payroll systems
  • Better workforce data and increased visibility of global teams
  • Supporting 170+ countries and localized in 17+ languages
  • Improved employee experience with employee self-service functionality and 24/7 employee support

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