Do HRs sensitise workers on employment laws?

Friday May 3 2019

 

By Moses Ssesanga

Many employees do not understand employment laws. Do HR departments help employees understand the employment law and how beneficial it is to them and the company? Julius

Dear Julius,
Labour laws universally have a uniform purpose: they protect the employees’ rights and set out the employers’ obligations and responsibilities. The labour laws act as guarantor of human rights as provided in Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Uganda is a signatory.

Uganda has a whole plethora of labour laws. Among the key ones are, the Workers Compensation Act 2000, the Minimum Wages Act 2000, the Employment Act 2006, the Labour Union Arbitration and Settlement Act 2006 and the Occupational Safety Act 2006 and the National Social Security Fund Act of 1985. It is an open secret that many investors/ employers in Uganda have been reported to regularly abuse workers’ rights.

These abuses include but not limited to refusal to issue appointment letters, non-remittance of NSSF contributions, discrimination against female employees, especially regarding maternity leave, sexual harassment, unfair dismissals, etc. However, in recent times, we witnessed examples of shocking judgments made by the Industrial Court where many major employers were forced to fork out hefty fines for breaching their employees’ rights.

Therefore, HR professionals in discharging one of their responsibilities as employee advocates are duty bound to provide labour law training to the workers on one hand and on the other, to sensitise employers on the importance of complying with the law in their transactions with employees. The compliance results in a stable industrial relations regime, which is an enabler for increased productivity.

Moses Ssesanga
Head Human Resource
NMG - Uganda
mssesanga@ug.nationmedia.com

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