Government seeking to protect employees against abuse

Sunday February 17 2019

A number of employees are exploited because of

A number of employees are exploited because of the lack of attendant laws to protect them. PHOTO BY EDGAR R BATTE  

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Kampala. Government has commenced a process to draft the National Action Plan (NAP) that seeks to protect employees from abuse.
The draft, which, according to Ms Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, the state minister for Youth and Children Affairs, is enshrined in the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review that was discussed in 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The proposed draft will seeks to direct the observance of employee rights in a rapidly growing business environment.
Speaking during the launch of the road map for the draft proposal in Kampala, Ms Nakiwala said as the business environment continues to grow there is need to institute laws that will close gaps in existing labour policies.
“We need to ensure that we are compliant with the existing labour laws and where there are gaps, we draft new regulations to bridge the gap. NAP will indeed be a breakthrough in actualising human rights in our development process, since the economy is growing very fast,” she said, emphasising that women, youth and persons with disabilities continue to suffer abuse without reprieve from existing laws.
Government, Ms Kiyingi said, has since 2016 been holding discussions with various stakeholders where it has been agreed that the Ministry of Gender urgently formulates the National Action Plan.
Ms Sylvia Ntambi, the Equal Opportunities Commission chairperson, said a lot of jobs, which continue to influence the human rights agenda, have been created over the years thus requiring government to come up with laws to guide them.
“Although we have some laws and policies that relate to business and human rights, we need a detailed framework to address the significant gaps that give room for violation of human rights in business,” she said.
The National Action Plan will, among others, also seek to address delayed and non-payment of employees while at the same time protecting employers from indiscipline employees.

Mr Bernard Mujuni, the Ministry of Gender commissioner for equity and rights, said government is also developing the social impact assessment and accountability Bill 2019, to ensure that vulnerable groups in the development process are protected.

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