The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development under a press Conference today has suspended labour externalization for 32 days from 18th March 2020. The suspension is in line with Presidential directive issued on 18th March 2020. Hon. in a Press Conference hosted by Minister of Labour Hon. Rukutana Mwesigwa
The new guidelines issued are to mitigating the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on employment in Uganda.
Highlight of the guidelines are:
i. The employers should retain the employees who are on monthly pay since termination at this stage may become costly in terms of payment of terminal benefits (i.e. severance pay; repatriation; payment in lieu of notice; payment in lieu of leave; compulsory compensation, any other damages);
ii. The engagement of the employees who are still under casual terms may be reviewed and some of them can be advised to stay home;
iii. Employees should be encouraged to take pending annual leave and or leave without pay upon agreement with their employers;
iv. In case of unionized workers, the parties should explore the provisions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement incase layoffs and redundancies become the best option (while observing requirements under Section 40 (3) (a) and Section 84 of the Employment Act 2006);
v. Employers should provide training of workers on preventive
measures for COVID-19, provide personnel protective
equipment and treatment of affected workers in line with Part
III of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 2006;
vi. We have henceforth suspended labour externalization for 32
days from 18th March 2020. The countries of focus are the
United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Somalia,
Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan and Iraq.
vii. Meanwhile, all Labour migrant workers returning from the high risk countries shall be subjected to terms and conditions set by the Ministry of Health i.e. mandatory quarantine for 14 days;
viii. In the meantime, our Ministry will continue to perform other assignments required to the externalization of labour, although no one will be cleared for travel.
ix. During the period of the suspension of externalization, we will closely monitor the situation in liaison with the embassies of the destination countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well
as our diplomatic representation abroad.