On Wednesday the 6th of June, 2018, during the 107th International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, stated, that maternity leave for women in public service has been extended to 16 weeks, to provide enough time for them and their infants to recuperate.
Under Nigerian Labour Law which applies to the public sector and unskilled workers within the private sector, women that work are entitled to 12 weeks’ maternity leave, as long as they provide medical certificates that indicate that they should not or cannot work. While the Honourable Minister’s comments indicate the direction of Government with regard to the protection of the interests of female workers within the aforementioned sectors, they do not have the force of law until the relevant legislation is passed by the National Assembly. Maternity leave in the private sector is typically governed by the terms of employment. The duration is usually 12 weeks and subject to agreement can be varied.