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Nigeria Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off, Vacation, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Nigeria

Last updated on December 30, 2023.

Vacation Leave Quota

6 days

Employees in Nigeria are legally entitled to at least 6 days of paid vacation per year. Employees working full-time but below 16 years old qualify for 12 days of vacation.

Employees become eligible for vacation days after a full year (12 months) of work at the company. However, some employers choose to provide 7 or more days of vacation from the very beginning of employment.

Any public holidays are not included in the minimum vacation entitlement.

Carry Over

Acceptable, but the employer must confirm.

Although vacation days should be used within the year they accrue, an employer and an employee may agree to carry them over to the following year. Afterward, employees are required to use their carried-over days within 2 years from the time they were earned. However, the decision to allow an employee to carry over his vacation days is ultimately up to the employer.


Employees receive a basic salary while on vacation.

Employees have the right to receive their standard wages while on vacation. This payment does not include any vacation allowances or overtime payments.

Employers may not compensate their employees for vacation days in exchange for wages. However, they have to compensate an employee for his/her unused vacation days when the employee’s contract is terminated.

Sick Leave in Nigeria

12 days

Workers in Nigeria may take up to 12 days of paid sick leave.

To be eligible for justified absence, an employee must present an official medical certificate within 2 days of the beginning of the leave, issued by the certified practitioner.


In Nigeria, the employer is responsible for paying sick leave. This means that employees continue to receive their full salary during their absence. In cases where the employer fails to provide sick pay, employees are eligible to claim it from the national insurance fund.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave in Nigeria

12 weeks

Pregnant employees in Nigeria are entitled to 12 weeks of partially paid maternity leave.

This leave consists of:

  • 6 months of prenatal maternity leave


  • 6 months of postnatal leave

Some employers offer longer maternity leave.

In order to receive maternity leave entitlement, a female employee must have at least 6 months of service with the current employer. Also, an employee must provide an official certificate of pregnancy from a certified doctor.

Pregnant employees who work in the public sector receive 16 weeks of maternity leave at full pay.


An employee receives 50% of their regular salary while on maternity leave. The employer is responsible for paying this compensation.

Paternity Leave in Nigeria

Not required by law.

The current labor law does not guarantee employees paternity leave, although the Cabinet of Nigeria approved it in 2021, with 14 days for men with a newborn child.

Employees who work in the public sector in the states of Lagos and Enugu are entitled to at least 2 weeks of paid paternity leave.

Parental Leave in Nigeria

Parental leave is not specified by law.

Bereavement Leave in Nigeria

Bereavement leave is not specified by law.

Jury Duty Leave in Nigeria

Jury duty leave is not specified by law.

Military Leave in Nigeria

Military leave is not specified by law.

Voting Leave in Nigeria

Voting leave is not specified by law.

Public Holidays in Nigeria for 2024

10 public holidays

There are 10 official public holidays in Nigeria recognized in 2024.

A complete list of official holidays celebrated in Nigeria in 2024:
Date Holiday
January 1 New Year 2024
March 29 Good Friday
April 1 Easter Monday
April 10 & 11 (*) Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
May 1 International Labor Day
June 12 Democracy Day
June 16 & 17 (*) Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)
October 1 Independence Day
December 25 Christmas
December 26 Boxing Day

(*) These holidays may have varying dates each year, because they are based on the Islamic lunar calendar.

Certain holidays might be specific to regions or states within Nigeria.


  1. Local Laws & Regulations of Nigeria, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/nigeria

  2. Definitive Guide to Hiring in Nigeria, https://www.globalexpansion.com/countrypedia/nigeria

  3. Payroll and Benefits Guide Nigeria, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/nigeria

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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