Get access

The challenges of assessing and providing compensation for mental stress under Nigeria's 2010 Employee's Compensation Act


  • The author acknowledges the technical support provided by the Hybrid Foundation for Labour Law and Social Justice.

Address for correspondence: Olayinka Atilola, MD, FWACP, FMCPsych, Department of Psychiatry, University College Hospital Ibadan, Nigeria; Email:


Nigeria has a predominantly youthful population and limited job opportunities in the formal labour market, which makes the search for formal employment difficult and can be conducive to the growth of exploitative working conditions. As one response to address the vulnerability of Nigerian workers, the Employee's Compensation Act was passed into law in December 2010. Of note, the Act includes provisions for compensation for mental health injuries, or “mental stress”, suffered in the course of employment. The article examines the strengths and weaknesses of the provisions, in particular the premise for mental health injury claims made in the Act. The wider policy implications of the Act as regards the development of compensation for mental health injuries in sub-Saharan Africa are discussed and suggestions for the future review of the Act offered.

Get access to the full text of this article