The federal government has urged employers to not to sack workers because of the COVID-19 pandemic without first obtaining clearance.
Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, who made the call in his workers day message, also said the government is seeking to create more jobs this time.
The pandemic, which started in December 2019, has forced many companies across the world to reduce their workforce as a result of unusual losses.
Ngige said while the federal government is in talks with employers of labour concerning job protection, those seeking to disengage their employees are encouraged to also dialogue with the affected workers.
“All relevant factors to the nation’s workforce will be identified, analysed, and solidified to ensure job retention and the continued realization of the decent work agenda,” he said.
“In doing this, we will be guided by the labour standards as benchmarks for social and employment protection at this time of vulnerabilities.
“Along this line, talks are currently ongoing between the Presidential Economic Sustainability Council and Employers on job protection and even job creation at this time and progressively to post Covid-19 crisis.
“I wish to state that employers will not be encouraged to disengage staff without prerequisite Social Dialogue and clearance from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.”
Ngige also said the government has also introduced special hazard and inducement allowance for workers in the healthcare sector.
“Also, Group Life Insurance Policy has been activated for all workers in the Federal Government Public Service as well as Employees’ Compensation for injuries, disabilities sustained and even death in the course of discharging their duties,” he added.
The minister further called on the science, technology and research sectors to “put on your thinking caps and join your colleagues throughout the world and produce cure and/or vaccine for the covid-19 for testing and other required processes and procedures.”
“Madagascar and Senegal have done it,” he said, adding: “We can also do something greater or key into their knowledge to mass produce for the Nigerian populace.”