Toxic workplaces and toxic bosses have recently become a trendy subject on Twitter. Many people have taken advantage of the opportunity to speak out about their experiences working in a toxic environment.
This follows the publication of an article about a tech startup founder’s harsh and condemnable statements.
The tweet space showed the absence of structure in many workplaces, including a lack of pension for employees, startups not paying employee taxes, bosses who verbally abuse staff, and overworked employees, to name a few.
After the publication by Tech Cabal calling out the toxicity of one of the leading fintech startups in Nigeria, Bento Africa, #Toxicworkplace was trending at number 8 on Twitter.
The Nigerian House of Representatives has passed a bill to build a set of regulations for tech startups for the second reading.
The law, which was referred to the House of Representatives on March 3 by President Muhammadu Buhari as an executive bill, aims to establish a legal framework for the functioning of tech firms in Nigeria.
Section 31(1) of the bill provides a tax vacation of 35% for eligible workers of Nigerian start-ups for two years from the date of employment.
According to the provision, an eligible employee of a labeled startup is entitled to a 35 percent personal income tax exemption on their earnings for a period of two years from the date of engagement by the labeled business.
On Tuesday, MPs debated the bill and approved it for a second reading. The bill was introduced in the wake of revelations of labor exploitation by some prominent Nigerian startups; the frenzy could not be ignored, as many people on Twitter were courageous enough to name these significant companies, including the Big4s.
Features of the Bill
The bill proposes to establish a National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the mission of setting policy for the council, including the construction of a Startup Support and Engagement Portal.
Startups in Nigeria must obtain approval and license from the council to function, according to section 10(2a) of the bill.
The bill’s section 13 lays forth the requirements for a firm to be classified as a startup.
This Act allows a startup to be labeled if it meets the following criteria:
(a) It is a limited liability company formed under the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 that has been in operation for at least 10 years from the date of establishment.
(b) the development, manufacture, enhancement, and commercialization of a digital technology innovative product or method are its objectives;
(c) it is the owner or inventor of a registered software or the keeper or repository of a digital technology product or process;
(d) the business has at least one Nigerian as a founder or co-founder, provided that the Nigerian founder or co-founder shares in the profit or revenue from the sale of shares;
(e) In the instance of a sole proprietorship or partnership, it meets the requirements of paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section.
A branded startup may earn “exemption from the payment of income tax or any other tax chargeable on its income or revenue for a period of four years, provided that the commencement date of the tax relief shall be the date of the issuing of the startup label,” according to Section 25 of the bill.
However, there is no mention of working conditions in the tech industry in this bill. There is no provision in the bill for the safety of staff who work for toxic startups, and the bill gives them no prerogative. Because many workers do not understand their workers’ rights, it is extremely likely that after the fire has died, the steam will continue to rise in toxic workplaces.
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