The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) has said that the newly approved employment guideline in the nation’s financial sector, will curb fraudulent practices and sanitise the system.
Oyinkan Olasanoye, president of ASSBIFI, stated this at a press conference to unveil the new guideline on Friday. The guideline is tagged, “Labour administration issues in contract staffing/outsourcing non-permanent workers in banks, insurance and financial sector”, at the association’s national secretariat in Lagos on Friday.
Chris Ngige, Nigeria’s minister of labour and employment, signed the new guideline into law on September 8, 2022. It will, among things, regulate the conditions of employment, standardise non-permanent employment, especially in the areas of career progression, salaries, and wages, disciplinary measures, health, safety, corporate performance and productivity.
“We are grateful to the honourable minister for accelerating the process which culminated in what we are presenting to you”, Olasanoye, said at the press conference.
“Employers in the banks, insurance and financial sector, are implored to cooperate and collaborate with focal agencies of government and unions concerned to achieve the objectives of this guideline and improve industrial relations practices and standards in Nigeria,” she added.
Olasanoye said the identified principles for the guidelines include entry requirement and minimum pay for non-permanent employees, career path and development, the right to unionise and for collective bargaining, trade dispute resolution procedures, disciplinary procedure compliance with standards, labour requirement, exit procedure and benefits for the workers.
“We struggled to ensure the formulation and put into operation of these guidelines to check unfair labour practices, exploitation and grievances in the sector,” she noted.
A non-permanent employee also known as “casual staff”, is an unskilled or semi-skilled worker engaged for a period of less than six months with daily pay. But in Nigeria, this is not the practice as casual workers may be engaged for as long as one or two years.
Employers in the country are increasingly filling job roles with casual employees in their organisations, which ought to be permanent, as it is cheaper and cost-effective for them.
“Inferring from reliable but unempirical records available to us, most insider-induced frauds, particularly in the banks, are perpetuated by disgruntled ‘casual’ employees,” said Olasanoye.
“These employees do not have the training and orientations usually given to the regular employee. They also do not have that sense of belonging because of their poor conditions of employment.
“But today, with this guideline, the non-permanent employee can pursue a career line, unionise and draw from benefits of collective bargaining agreements,” she explained.
The request for a guideline to regulate conditions of employment of non-permanent employees in the sector started a decade ago, with the active participation of representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, ASSBIFI, and National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE).