HuCaPAN, NECA kick against outlaw of outsourcing agencies
Say it’ll hurt economy, create job loss
The Human Capital Providers Association of Nigeria (HuCaPAN) and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) have kicked against the bill proposing to outlaw outsourcing in Nigeria by the House of Representatives.
The associations argued that the lawmakers did not consolidate their position on the bill with that of the Social Partners – government, labour and employers – through the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, to ensure a seamless legislative process for the Bills, to bring about the needed positive changes that stakeholders desire for the nation’s labour administration.
They maintained that the Bill is, however, premature as International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards require input of all social partners on any labour legislation.
The House of Representatives had passed for second reading a bill seeking to criminalise casualisation and outsourcing of jobs in the country.The bill, which seeks to amend the Labour Act, if passed into law, will prohibit and criminalise casualization of workers after six months of engagement by employers in the country and outsourcing of jobs.
The bill is sponsored by Wale Raji.
The Director General of NECA, Dr. Timothy Olawale, who spoke on the bill, which seek to criminalise casualisation at the workplace, said he appreciated the concern of the lawmakers in ensuring decent work for all Nigerians, noting that, “over the years, NECA had frowned at casualisation, as it is against the principles of Decent Work and international best standards and practices of the ILO. We, in fact, frown at all practices that tend to treat labour as a commodity to be exploited.”
According to him, the bill is also coming at a time the social partners under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment are currently reviewing the entire Labour laws with the technical support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Similarly, President of HuCaPAN, Aderemi Adegboyega, who maintained that outlawing outsourcing in Nigeria would hurt the economy as well as create job loss, said: “Instead of proposing to outlaw outsourcing in Nigeria, the only rational thing to do is to ratify the ILO Convention 181 – Private Employment Agencies Convention, 1997 (No. 181) and include it in the proposed Labour Act (Amendment) 2019.
The Inspectorate Unit of the Federal Ministry of Labour must be empowered to ensure that the national decent job deficit comes to nil. This would be in line with HuCaPAN objective and guiding motto ‘wherever a Nigerian is found working, he must have a decent job’.”
Currently, he said the private employment agencies also known as outsourcing agencies in Nigeria employ over three million Nigerians, noting that the volume of fund in the industry has also risen over the years to a tune of N1.4 billion.
According to him, the private employment agencies pay various forms of taxes to the government at all levels like Company Income Tax, Withholding Tax, PAYE Tax and VAT among others.
On the benefits of PEAs to the worker, the economy and nation in general, Adegboyega stressed that it would be insensitive for anyone or institution to think of outlawing it.
He said PEAs provide an essential form of embodiment of flexicurity, by striking a balance between flexibility and work security in the labour market.
He added: “Outsourcing undoubtedly is a new trend of employment. It gives room for labour flexibility, but must be subject to labour protection legislations. In actual fact, growing number of employees, mostly youths are more interested in a flexible work schedule. They are not willing to be tied down on a job, because they are entrepreneurial and do not want to get stuck.
“The Code of Conduct for private employment agencies in Nigeria aimed at regulating and setting standards for the operations of Private Employment Agencies and to also nip in the bud, the global threat of unwholesome labour practices and human trafficking.”