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Parliament to fast track Employment Amendment Bill

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Kampala-Uganda: The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga says Parliament will fast track the consideration of the Employment Amendment Bill, 2019.

Kadaga said this while meeting representatives of the Domestic Workers Association (DWA) who presented a petition requesting for the faster processing of the bill.

The General Secretary of DWA, Florence Athieno expressed concern about the  delay in consideration Employment Amendment and the Sexual Offences Bills, that she said affects the lives of over 1000 domestic workers.

“We are here to request that the Employment Amendments Bill is fast tracked and passed into Law. The domestic workers should be reorganized and protected under the law,” she said.

Athieno added that many women have gained employment as house maids yet they are not catered for in the Employment Act of 2006.

“Domestic workers play a crucial role in facilitating the working men and women to participate in the economic development of the country but are not recognized and regulated. The Act of 2006 cannot protect the workers clearly leaving them out,” she added.

Athieno added that it was time for government to regulate domestic workers and also called for the passing of the Sexual Offences Bill 2017 before the expiry of  the tenure of the 10th Parliament.

“No permit is required for an employer to employ a domestic worker. This leaves the worker exposed to emotional, sexual and physical abuse,” she said.

Speaker Kadaga said the Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development is in the final stages of processing the bill before presenting the report to Parliament.

“We shall give it priority because we support better working relations and most importantly, you have demystified what a domestic worker is. Sometimes what we read in the papers that the house girls have burned a child has underlying causes which should also be looked into,” Kadaga said.

The Employment Amendment Bill 2019 was read for the first time on 3rd December 2019, by the National Workers Representative, Hon. Agnes Kunihira.

The Bill specif­i­cally makes pro­vi­sions for the reg­u­la­tion of em­ploy­ment of do­mes­tic work­ers and ca­sual em­ploy­ees in Uganda so as to im­prove their work­ing con­di­tions, to pro­vide for com­pul­sory reg­is­tra­tion and li­cens­ing of re­cruit­ment agen­cies for do­mes­tic work­ers and non-man­ual la­bor­ers and to pro­vide for an ex­plicit for­mula for cal­cu­la­tion of sev­er­ance pay among others.

The bill also seeks to re­move the con­di­tions at­tached to pay­ment of sev­er­ance pay, pro­vide for the re­cruit­ment and em­ploy­ment of mi­grant work­ers in Uganda and Uganda mi­grant work­ers abroad and to pro­vide for scope of sex­ual ha­rass­ment in em­ploy­ment.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga says Parliament will fast track the consideration of the Employment Amendment Bill, 2019.

Kadaga said this while meeting representatives of the Domestic Workers Association (DWA) who presented a petition requesting for the faster processing of the bill.

The General Secretary of DWA, Florence Athieno expressed concern about the  delay in consideration Employment Amendment and the Sexual Offences Bills, that she said affects the lives of over 1000 domestic workers.

“We are here to request that the Employment Amendments Bill is fast tracked and passed into Law. The domestic workers should be reorganized and protected under the law,” she said.

Athieno added that many women have gained employment as house maids yet they are not catered for in the Employment Act of 2006.

“Domestic workers play a crucial role in facilitating the working men and women to participate in the economic development of the country but are not recognized and regulated. The Act of 2006 cannot protect the workers clearly leaving them out,” she added.

Athieno added that it was time for government to regulate domestic workers and also called for the passing of the Sexual Offences Bill 2017 before the expiry of  the tenure of the 10th Parliament.

“No permit is required for an employer to employ a domestic worker. This leaves the worker exposed to emotional, sexual and physical abuse,” she said.

Speaker Kadaga said the Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development is in the final stages of processing the bill before presenting the report to Parliament.

“We shall give it priority because we support better working relations and most importantly, you have demystified what a domestic worker is. Sometimes what we read in the papers that the house girls have burned a child has underlying causes which should also be looked into,” Kadaga said.

The Employment Amendment Bill 2019 was read for the first time on 3rd December 2019, by the National Workers Representative, Hon. Agnes Kunihira.

The Bill specif­i­cally makes pro­vi­sions for the reg­u­la­tion of em­ploy­ment of do­mes­tic work­ers and ca­sual em­ploy­ees in Uganda so as to im­prove their work­ing con­di­tions, to pro­vide for com­pul­sory reg­is­tra­tion and li­cens­ing of re­cruit­ment agen­cies for do­mes­tic work­ers and non-man­ual la­bor­ers and to pro­vide for an ex­plicit for­mula for cal­cu­la­tion of sev­er­ance pay among others.

The bill also seeks to re­move the con­di­tions at­tached to pay­ment of sev­er­ance pay, pro­vide for the re­cruit­ment and em­ploy­ment of mi­grant work­ers in Uganda and Uganda mi­grant work­ers abroad and to pro­vide for scope of sex­ual ha­rass­ment in em­ploy­ment.

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