Can a job be terminated over political differences? - Daily Monitor

Can a job be terminated over political differences?

Friday March 15 2019

Moses Ssesanga

Moses Ssesanga 

By Moses Ssesanga

I was terminated from work because of my political party affiliation. My boss had tried to persuade me to join his political party in vain. Isn’t termination of different political ideologies illegal? Faustin

Dear Faustin,
It is important to state from the onset that it is illegal and unconstitutional for any person to be fired from their job on the basis of political party affiliation or belief.
You should, however, note that it is not always prudent for employees to publically show their political affiliations at their workplaces especially when the organisations they work for are apolitical.

Many organisations tend to avoid publically revealing their political affiliations and leanings as corporate citizens and this behaviour is always expected to be mirrored by their employees. They advise their employees to show a very clear demarcation between their personal political utterances from the organisations’ position especially if they are higher up in the hierarchies of their companies. This is one of the reasons why many organisations require their employees to take leave before they engage actively in politics.

In addition, political discussions at workplaces tend to become emotional and can sometimes be disruptive as people get diverted from concentrating on their work and serving customers, to discussing which politician goofed during an interview or which politician lacks depth, etc, all based on their political leanings. In some instances people have been reported to become violent to the point of exchanging scathing words and/or blows, all in the defence of their candidates, beliefs or parties.

Therefore, in this politically charged atmosphere obtaining in the country, it’s not prudent to be a political activist at your workplace, where at the same time you are expected to be a resilient employee, though, this doesn’t mean that you should be fired for subscribing to a particular political party or belief.

Moses Ssesanga
Head Human Resource
NMG - Uganda
[email protected]