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Workers MPs demand better working conditions

Workers MPs addressing journalists at Parliament. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Members of Parliament (MPs) representing workers are demanding for the Amendment in the Workers Act of 2006 of Workers to cater for domestic workers, migrant and casual workers.

Female Workers MP, Agnes Kunihira Wednesday, March 6, moved a motion seeking leave of Parliament to introduce the Employment (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Workers MP, Margaret Rwabushaija who seconded the motion, said that the Employment Amendment Bill 2014 had not catered for some categories because there was a mix-up.

The MPs want better working conditions for these categories of workers.

Ms. Rwabushaija said that amending the act will go a long way to protect the rights of workers because currently the domestic workers, migrant workers and casual workers are not included in the act.

“They will become more motivated to do their work and also become productive at work as well as their homes. They will be protected against unfair treatment too,” Ms. Rwabushaija said.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga commended MPs for moving private members bills to address gaps in existing laws. She asked the ministry of Finance to provide members with certificates of financial implications, a requirement at a bill’s first reading.

Is the amendment necessary?

Ms. Kunihira said that domestic employees are carrying out business like bakeries because the Act does not provide for a labour inspector in case the right of a worker is violated.

Article 27 of the constitution protects the worker yet it does not provide for a labour inspector in case a worker’s right is violated by the employer then inspection has to be conducted.

“Some companies that employ workers don’t provide breastfeeding spaces for mothers. This leaves mothers in a dilemma as most of them leave their babies as early as 4.30 am and are not able to feed them since at that time they are still asleep,” she noted.

The Employment Act 2006 states that there is no permit requirement for one to recruit a domestic servant for employment. However, beyond this, there is no other specific provision in the Constitution or the labour laws regarding domestic workers in Uganda.

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