The laws which govern employment occupy a position of considerable importance in any modern society. This is so because of the tremendous contributions which workers can make to national growth and development, as well as the general well-being of the nation’s citizenry. Labour law has a vital role to play in the mobilization of the work force for national growth. The major players in employment  are essentially-the employer and the employee and whenever there is a contractual relationship between these two parties, the binding contract naturally brings about rights and duties which must be complied with. Their respective rights and duties have to be analyzed wholly in contractual terms. In many civilize countries, a case study of Nigerian, it has been observed from historical antecedents, a structured favour to employers over and above the employees liability arose. As much as it is an undisputed fact that employers reserve the right to dismiss alongside other rights, employees also have rights which they can also exercise. But in most circumstances, due to ignorance of many employees, the opportunity to challenge such unlawful acts of the employers elude them. Efforts has been made in this research projects to identify these problems, their causes and also solutions have been suggested in the concluding chapter for a need to reform the whole set up as it affects labor law and practice in Nigeria.


  1. Background of the study

The relationship between an employer and an employee is defined and controlled by administrative law, the law of tort, contract, and criminal law. Administrative law i.ethe law concerned with the powers, and procedures of administrative agencies. The law of contract i e the l a w which recognises an agreement that is binding on the parties andwhich is enforceable too. Since countries engage in both internal and external businesses, government agencies have been empowered to make rulesand adjudicate over disputes. With the promulgation of various Decrees, Acts, Laws, edicts, Regulations and Bye-law the law is able to keep a check on the administration. This is the principal and most direct legislation on employment matters in Nigeria.

The Labour Act which was enacted in 1971. A worker or an employee is described under this Act as a person who enters into a contract of employment with an employer, whether such a contract is a contract of service or a contract to personally execute any work or labour. The Act is however inapplicable to persons exercising administrative, executive, technical or professional functions as public servants, or to any person employed on a vessel or on an aircraft to which the laws regulating merchant shipping or civil aviation already apply, among other classes of persons. The Labour Act requires that within three (3) months of the engagement of an employee, an employer must give to the employee a written contract of employment which contract must specify among other things, a description of the parties to the contract of employment, the nature of the service or services to be rendered under the contract of employment, the tenure of the contract including its probation period, the remuneration which must be paid in the legal tender of the country where the contract is entered into, the hours of work, mandatory holiday with paid leave, rules with regard to periods of incapacity to work due to sickness or injury, maternity leave, the appropriate period of notice to be served before the contract can be terminated, possible grounds for dismissal of the employee without notice etc.

This Study is aimedat discussing the relationship of the employer and the employee with particular reference to the contract of employment.