CATEGORIES OF EMPLOYEES: PRIVATE EMPLOYEES

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    Olajire Deborah
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    Private Employees

    Any employee in the service of any body, corporation or company not belonging to or funded by the government or created by law is a private employee. In other words, any worker who is not a civil or public servant is a private servant.

    When an employee’s appointment and termination is not subject to or regulated by statute, the relationship that exists between the employee and the employer is the simple common law relationship of master and servant. The termination of the contract of service, even if unlawful, brings to an end the contract simply because a master cannot be foisted on an unwilling servant, so also can a servant not be compelled to remain in the services of a master after he has given his letter of resignation.

    In contrast to public servants, there is no particular law regulating employments in the private sector. The relationship of master/servant is regulated by the common law, which are laws which evolve from cases decided in the past by the courts. I must add, though, that this does not mean that a private employer is not subject to some laws relating to the rights of employees, e.g., Employee’s Compensation Act which is the law dealing with the rights of employees to compensation when it relates to injuries suffered by them in the course of their employment.

    But generally, there are no specific laws regulating rules of private employment. They are regulated by the contract of employment between the parties.
    Whatever is specified by the parties in the contract of employment binds them and they are not allowed to go outside this contract.

    In the same vein, there are no laws limiting a private employer in how he conducts his business or the manner he employs people. For instance, a private employer is not bound by the federal character principle. He is at liberty to employ only his family members, tribesmen or persons of his religious faith or ethnic group exclusively in his company. He may decide to employ men or women alone, or may even employ only foreigners, subject to compliance with necessary rules.

    A private employer is equally not bound by the rules relating to pensions and gratuities. The most important factor is compliance with the contract terms relating to the employment.

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