A new policy for regulating external labour recruitment companies is in the offing as a measure to safeguard Ugandans who work abroad.
Under the policy, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, said the companies will be required to reveal the nature of jobs, remuneration and other conditions at work for the workers’ wellbeing.
“As Parliament, we received complaints of people being duped in external labour recruitment and others abused. But one of the measures we are bringing is to have all recruits registered with the foreign missions abroad to enable easy follow up,” Ms Kadaga said.
While flagging off 200 recruits to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) yesterday in Kampala, Ms Kadaga warned that companies that engage in fraudulent activities shall be blacklisted and their proprietors and managers prosecuted.
Middle East Consultants Limited (MECL), a recruitment company, enlisted the batch that is scheduled to work in various companies as drivers, cleaners and security guards in the UAE.
The managing director MECL, Mr Gordon Mugyenyi, said that the latest batch of recruits brings the number to 800 people recruited since January this year.
“Our target is to recruit more than 5,000 people this year into employment abroad. We are recruiting all people irrespective of their skills with a view of supplementing on the fight against unemployment thereby boosting income levels,” he said.
Mr Mugyenyi also warned the public to guard against using illegal companies saying that they only have to get contact through the 63 companies licensed by government to avoid losing their money.
“We formed Uganda Association for External Recruitment Agencies that will be regulating activities of licensed companies and anyone who has a complaint should address it there such that our taskforce team can handle it with the responsible authorities,” he said.
The acting chairperson of the association, also the managing director of International Employment Linkages, Ms Lilian Keene Mugerwa, said they have set up a secretariat to help in creating awareness among the population how to go work abroad to enable the public understand the legal mechanism.
She said: “We have a monitoring team that is working with associations abroad and missions to streamline the operations and fight illegal recruitment and trafficking in persons. This is supplementing government work.”
Uganda earns $35 million (Shs126b) per month out of the remittances of workers from the Middle East countries. This accounts for about 40 per cent of the remittances worldwide.