Employment Law: The Employee Compensation Act (ECA) 2010
Content provided by Adejumo Ekisola & Ezeani: Legal Practitioners
This Act was signed into law late last year. The Act is significant in several respects, but broadly it does two significant things: it abolishes the Workmen’s Compensation Act and institutes a new compensation scheme for injuries sustained at work or to and from work.
The following provisions of the ECA are of particular interest
(i) The Act applies to every employer in Nigeria.
(ii) It provides compensation for death, injuries or disease arising out of or in the course of employment.
(iii) It establishes a compensation fund from which the compensation is to be made and the ECA and the Fund established thereunder are administered by the Board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (the Board).
(iii) All employers in Nigeria are expected to contribute to the fund which also is expected to be invested as prescribed in the ECA. For the first two years of the ECA, each employer is to make a minimum monthly contribution of 1.0 per cent of her total payroll into the Fund. The Board will make regulations stipulating the rate of contributions due after this period.
(iv) The employee cannot waive or agree to waive any compensation due to him under the ECA. Any agreement to that effect is null and void. The compensation payable or paid to the employee is not assignable or liable to attachment except in limited circumstances.
(v) Each employer is under duty to report to the Board and the nearest office of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health in the State any injuries to an employee which is or is claimed to be one arising out of or in the course of employment within 7 days of its occurrence. Where death occurs, the report is to be made immediately. Failure to make a report is an offence.
(vi) Where the act or conduct of the employer or fellow employee which caused the death or injury of the employee arose out of or in the course of employment, the provisions of the ECA are in lieu of any right of action that the injured employee or his dependants may have. In other words compensation under the ECA is a bar to a suit against the employer for the injury or death.