7 February 2013

Uganda: Govt Organzies Minimum Wage Board

Photo: allAfrica.com
Street in Kampala, Uganda.

The Government of Uganda has embarked on the process of constituting a minimum wage board to ensure Ugandans get rational salaries from employers.

State Minister for Labour Mwesigwa Rukuntana said the board is being constituted to give the Government advice on how to fix the minimum wage and when to do it.

"The board will tell the Government whether Uganda is now ready for fixing the minimum wage and which sectors should embrace it first," Mwesigwa said.

Rukuntana added that his Ministry has already drafted the policy on the matter and that it will soon be tabled before Cabinet and if endorsed sent to Parliament.

He made the remarks on Wednesday while officiating at the closing of a two-day training workshop for domestic workers' recruitment agents at Emerald Hotel, Kampala.

The training organised by Platform for Labour Action a local NGO aimed at equipping participants with knowledge on protecting the rights and freedoms of domestic workers.

Rukuntana said the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Government would have already fixed a minimum wage but had a chain of reservations then.

"We never wanted to jump into fixing the minimum wage and scare away investors and the already existing jobs," he noted.

"If you fix a minimum wage and there are no jobs, then you have a law that will remain on paper because the employers and employees will reject it."

He advised Ugandans who feel exploited by the employers before the minimum wage is fixed to run away from the jobs and look for better one.

The Minister also disclosed that the Government is in the process of ratifying the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the standards of domestic workers.

Rukuntana noted that the rights and freedoms of domestic workers in Uganda have always been violated by their employers yet with little legal help.

He said like any other employees, domestic workers are entitled to annual leave, social security, pension and training to be able to survive on their own when they are old.

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