What should we do about irregular pay at work?

Friday May 29 2020


By Moses Ssesanga

Dear Moses,
I work in a logistics and well established company. My team and I work to the best of our abilities. Unfortunately, we are underappreciated by our colleagues because of their relationship with CEO. When the month ends and we expect our salaries to be paid, we don’t get an email or any communication from the HR. Our head of department keeps dodging the question and claims to have escalated the issue. A month goes by, and another, no communication from the HR and we are expected to fully work without fail, as the HR might terminate our contract anytime and still not pay salary as done to previous employees. My colleagues and I don’t earn a lot. We have tried renegotiating the salaries compared to the heavy duties we partake it has been denied. We are not paid on time and we are unable to renegotiate. What should we do? Lumu Carolyn

Dear Carolyn,
The situation you have described is your employer’s fragrant breach of the law! Payment of salary, on a regular basis, is a legal obligation of every employer to his/her employees.

The Employment Act of 2006 Cap 43 expressly prohibits an employer from not paying in full, the agreed amounts of their employee’s salaries and wages without obtaining the employees’ consent, in writing. The Act stipulates further that the wages have to be paid in legal tender from the employee’s workplace and not in other form of exchange.

The wages have to be paid at the end of the agreed period which may be daily, weekly or monthly, depending on the nature of your contract.

In addition, the employer is required by law to provide a payment advice to the employee (payslips) detailing all the deductions (statutory and others) which he has made from the employee’s salary every time the wages are paid.

By favoring your colleagues who have special access to him and denying you your earned rights to salary and wage, your employer is in addition running a risk of being found guilty of discrimination, which may result into criminal and/or labour law suits against him personally and his business.


You are hence advised to raise a serious and formal complaint with your HR Dept. if you fail to find redress, then a visit to your Disctrict Labour Officer will be in order.

Moses Ssesanga,
Head of Human Resource,
NMG Uganda