The legal framework for contract staffing and labour outsourcing in Nigeria is in flux, if not in crisis, primarily because of an inconsistency in the employment relationship classification between the parties as set forth in existing statutes and court pronouncements.

As the regulator, the Federal Ministry of Labour has issued sector-specific guidelines that spell out the status of the outsourced employee and contract staff.

These guidelines have inexplicably not been given judicial consideration. Instead, in what is akin to judicial legislation, the National Industrial Court (“NICN”) has felt duty-bound to classify the employment relationship differently.

This article highlights the classification of the employment relationship and the protection of employment rights in outsourcing arrangements.