Someone once told a story of a guy in his workplace who hardly goes on leave preferring instead to work round the clock provided he his compensated for it. He believes going on leave means he is forced to spend money traveling if he decides to. And when he does decide to spend in annual leave at home, he even spends more because he has to make sure there is electricity even if it means running his generator, eat at home rather than eat free at the staff canteen and even spend on other activities all in a bid to ensure he enjoys the so called rest period. To make matters worse from his perspective, the opportunity cost of sitting at home is loosing the extra salary that comes when he decides to forfeit his leave for work. Being a “capitalist” that he is, this leaves him with no option but to cash in on the leave.
Whilst this may seem logical from his point of view, the downside of this is that he is will soon become vulnerable to falling ill. He may even be so fatigued his work output will become adversely impaired. But that is not all…his employers will be committing a unlawful act if they continue to oblige him. According to section 18 sub section 3 of the Labour Act “It shall be unlawful for an employer to pay wages in lieu of the holiday mentioned in subsection (1) of this section to a worker whose contract has not terminated”. So whilst it may be financially expedient for your employee, it is financially risky for your organization as you may be fined heavily for breaking the law. However, the law permits you to defer the leave provided it is in agreement with the employee as subsection 2 of the same section 18 puts it.
“Provided that the holiday-earning period shall not thereby be increased beyond twenty-four months continuous service”. This however, means you must not pay monetary compensation for it. So basically, there is no incentive for your employee to forfeit his leave.
Is this practical in present day Nigeria?