Hon Agnes Kunihira, Workers Member of Parliament in Uganda has taken up the call of improving the working conditions of casual employees, breastfeeding mothers,domestic workers, volunteers, migrant workers and Ugandan Migrant workers abroad though legislation.
Human Rights bodies, workers have taken up the challenge of shouting about the working conditions of informal workers who face being left behind as Uganda targets middle income status.
Kunihira says government of Uganda should improve working conditions of the majority workers who are in the informal sector because the formal jobs are not enough.
Kunihira says she is leading the amendments in THE EMPLOYMENT(AMENDMENT) BILL, 2019. Sehe says the objective is to amend the Employment Act 2006 to operationalise the provisions of article 40 of the Constitution of Uganda.
Governments should accept that there arent going to be enough formal jobs any time soon and so informal sector conditions should be improved.
Domestic workers , casual laborers, hawkers etc are vital to our economies yet they have no protections like healthcare, pensions or access to credit.
Last Year a symposium was organised by Uganda Human Rights Network Uganda to seek views among different stakeholders with regard to the development of the national action plan on business and human rights and to share experiences with regards to implementing the United Nations protect, respect and remedy framework in the context of Uganda.
The advocates of human rights cited casual labourers who work in the manufacturing and hotel industries and the flower sector as the most exploited to the extent that a worker is paid sh500 per day.
We have had cases in hotels where room attendants are raped by guests and employers as they clean the rooms and sugar factory casual workers are paid only sh500 per day. This is unacceptable,” Ruth Ssekindi the director of monitoring and Treaties at Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) said.
Enraged by the suffering of casual workers under the employers’ hands, Ssekindi cited those working in sugarcane plantations, stone quarries, cement and cigarettes factories among others, where occupational health safety is wanting.
The Amendment will specifically make provisions for the regulation of employment of domestoc workers and casual employees in Uganda so as to improve their working conditions.
They include compulsory registration and licensing of recruitment agencies for domestic workers and non-manual laborers, provide for an explicit formula for calculation of severance pay, remove conditions attached to payment of severance pay.
Others are provide for the recruitment and employment of migrant workers in Uganda and Uganda Migrant Workers Abroad, provide for scope of sexual harrassment in employment, provide protection of working breast feeding mothers, provide conversion of casual employment to term contract and to provide for the employment of voluteers.