Anushiem, M. I.
The concept of economically dependent workers refers to workers who do not correspond to the traditional definition of an employee. This is essentially because they do not have an employment contract but are economically dependent on a single employer for all or most of their sources of income. The category of workers in Nigeria whose work situations do not ordinarily correspond to the traditional standard form of employment relationship but who are economically dependent on a single employer for their sources of income include casual workers, contract staff/workers and outsourced workers. The emergence of this category of workers is as a result of the circumstances surrounding the employment situations in Nigeria and the problems of unemployment as well as factors such as economic hardship, technological advancement and globalisation. The problem that led to this research is the lack of adequate legal protection of economically dependent workers which operates Nigeria in the form of casualisation of workers, contract staffing and outsourcing of workers. Sadly, these categories of workers in Nigeria are not included in the definition of workers in the Labour Act regulating labour and employment relationships. The exclusion of these workers denies them some work benefits, rights and protections which are provided to standard form workers in Nigeria. This therefore, creates a lot of incidental legal and economic problems in the Nigerian labour market. They receive earnings from a single employer and depend on the single employer for their financial sustainability. These categories of workers meet series of maltreatment and degradation at work place and because they are vulnerable employers perceive them as being without any legal status. This research work is geared towards appraising the legal status of economically dependent workers in Nigeria in comparison with the position of International Labour Organisation as well as the position in some other jurisdictions. The researchers used doctrinal, reform oriented and theoretical legal research methodologies in this legal research.The researcher will do this with the aid of statutes, case law, textbooks, journal articles, conference proceedings, Internet materials and some unpublished works. The researcher found that Nigerian labour laws and practices have not given adequate legal and institutional protections to these vulnerable workers. The researcher, therefore, recommend a proactive approach towards affording these categories of workers with legal protection equivalent to thoseavailable to standard form workers in Nigeria.