The claimants brought the before the National Industrial Court in Lagos in a case with suit number NICN/LA/546/2017, an originating summons claiming for the following: A declaration that the claimant and members of their class are employees of the defendant; that by virtue of the nature of the defendant’s control over the claimants and members of their class, they are not meant to be classified as independent contractors; that the defendant is liable for the acts of the claimants and other members of their class while acting in the course of their employment with the defendant; an order mandating the defendant to provide all relevant benefits including but not limited to health insurance, pensions and other benefits to the claimants and members of their class and a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant, its officers, from further denying liability for the claimants’ acts done in the course of their employment with the defendant. According to the facts as revealed in the nineteen paragraphs affidavit in support of the originating summons deposed to by one of the claimant, Daniel John, the defendants had been recruited as parts of the defendant’s drivers of which the defendant was strict on the specifications on the car and every other condition in which they carried out their duties as drivers including mandatory insurance cover. Also that the claimants were periodically given work and paid wages every week; that the defendant periodically gave the claimants instructions on how to carry on duties especially relationship with customers, speed limits, maintenance of the car, insurance cover, et al; and recently it was discovered that that the defendant never made any pension remittance to the pension funds administration and so they have approached the employers who denied liability and other benefits as well. Thus four issues where presented before the court based on the written address annexed to the application: i. Whether or not considering the circumstances of the facts of the case, the claimants and members of their class are independent contractors of the defendant ii. Whether or not by the interpretation and construction of “worker” under Section 91 of the Labour Act, the claimants and members of their class are employees of the defendant. iii. Whether or not the employment relationship between the claimants and the defendant has created an agency relationship? iv. Whether or not, the defendant as the claimants’ employer ought to be vicariously liable for the cliamants’ malfeasance? The application is dated the 7th day of November, 2017 and filed the same day. The application is dated the 7th day of November, 2017 and filed the same day.]]>

Written By Obioma Ezenwobodo Esq

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