Types of Leave in Public Service in Nigeria

Most Nigerians like working in the public sector above lucrative private jobs for a variety of reasons. The civil service is renowned for its commitment to treating people fairly and most especially,  job security. This is because it concerns about more than just ensuring that personnel continue to produce results (especially as regards profit).


The government, however, makes sure that the welfare of its employees is continuously taken care of. So, as an employee, taking a leave of absence is a privilege. Unfortunately, despite the fact that many private businesses disregard these issues, the civil service is required to follow them. The most common sorts of leave are listed below, though they can differ from organisation to another and from state-to-state.


The most popular leave categories for government employees in Nigeria include:  annual leave, sick leave, maternity and paternity leave, and leave of absence. The information on different types of leave in the Nigerian civil service is provided below.


The annual leave is the amount of days that civil officials can spend off the job unhindered in a year. The Labour Law requires the employer to make sure that they pay for this time. The employee has this right, which they are free to exercise whenever they like. The fact that the annual leave sometimes receives some allowances is one of its intriguing features. However, the difficulty that frequently arises has to do with the time frame and the permitted allowances.

Despite being a right, there are still some restrictions in place. For instance, employers are not permitted to activate leave benefits or lengths of more than six days. Civil servants are obliged to be informed of these matters in advance, as stated by the labor law. When taking annual leave, an employee is entitled to a different amount of money. This is due to the many patterns that various cooperatives have adopted and embraced.


Anyone can become ill at any time. Someone shouldn’t lose their employment because of this unwelcome incident. Additionally, no federal servant should be forced to report to work while ill out of pure fear of losing their job.

An employee of the government is entitled to up to twelve working days of paid sick leave while they are ill. It should be mentioned that the illness must first be certified by a licensed medical professional before it can be awarded.

According to labor law, sick leave is supposed to be a fully compensated leave. It should be determined as the employee’s basic salary, which is deducted from any overtime and other benefits. The government employee is also examined by a licensed medical professional. When a worker is covered, there are various medical benefits available, including the right to ophthalmological treatments, specialist consultations, among others.

With regard to paid sick leave, there is still a high level of job security because the employee’s job is guaranteed for the whole 12 days.


The Labour Law stipulates that all female civil officials are entitled to at least 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. As for the paternity leave that pertains to men (fathers), it is not now recognized by our own Labour Law. In a state like Lagos, however, civil officials have the right to ten days of paternity leave during the first two months of the birth of their child.


There are situations when an employee may have a very excellent cause to miss a few days of work without prior notice. They may request a leave of absence under certain circumstances. It should be emphasized that the employee is required to provide crucial information before the employer can approve it. This includes things like the justification for their planned leave, which must be very compelling. Additionally, they will state how long they plan to be absent from the office.


The Nigerian Labour Law stipulates the following regarding worker entitlements.

  • Every employee is entitled after twelve months’ continuous service to a holiday with guaranteed pay of:
  1. At minimum six working days; or
  2. In the case of an individual below the age of sixteen years (as well as an apprentice), at least 12 working days.
  • The employee and the employer may agree to postpone the holiday indicated in subsection (1) of this section. This is allowed as long as the holiday-earning term isn’t extended past 24 months of continuous service.
  • Any employer who pays earnings in substitution of the holiday indicated in this section’s paragraph (1) to a worker whose contract hasn’t been terminated is in violation of the law.
  • A person who stops working after completing one of the following periods of continuous employment with an employer:
  1. Fewer than twelve but not less than six months; or
  2. Not less than six months.
  • This is so because he last met the requirements for a holiday under this section’s subsection (1). When it comes to that time period of employment, he will be paid an amount that equates to full pay for one week at his regular rate when compared to a year.


There are a number of motives why so many Nigerians favor working in the public sector over some private companies that are willing to pay them very well. People naturally take into account their own well-being. Many Nigerians question the point of working nonstop like an elephant without a suitable break to enjoy life. Nobody wants to be forced to work long hours without any thought for their wellbeing.

Regarding the subject of leave, all employees are truly entitled to it, and there are a number of solid reasons for it. Some of them are designed to guarantee that they carry out their responsibilities as a mother, a father, a parent, someone’s child, etc. Some are designed to help workers rest and recover after a lengthy time of work.

Keep in mind that we stated “entitled.” It’s because certain types of leave of absence, especially annual leave, are required by labor laws, which are not only in Nigeria (it is a worldwide affair). There are actually monetary sums that should be provided to employees for such a break. These sums have been prearranged. The many types of leave available to Nigerian civil servants does not end there.

join us on telegram join our whatsapp channel

Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

You may also like...

Leave a Reply