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Occasional workers contemplated in the new Employment Law

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  The Employment Amendment Bill 2022 which seeks to among other things regulate the employment of casual workers has been reintroduced for First Reading The bill was introduced by Br Margaret Rwabushaija IND Workers during the plenary session on Wednesday September 21 2022 According to the bill the current Employment Law only defines an occasional employee but does not legislate nor does it make provisions for the employment of casual employees The bill therefore seeks to convert temporary employment into long term employment establishing that a person may not be employed as a casual worker for a period exceeding four months The casual worker hired continuously for four months will have the right to a written contract and will cease to be a casual worker and all the rights and benefits enjoyed by other workers will be applicable to him reads part of the bill The bill also seeks to regulate the employment of Ugandans abroad by directing the responsible minister to prescribe the minimum employment standards applicable to persons hired to work abroad Minimum employment standards under the bill include job description hours of work guaranteed wages and emoluments and workers compensation benefits and protection against war risks among others The Bill states that the Employment Recruitment of Migrant Workers Regulations 2005 do not provide provisions of principle on the recruitment and placement of Ugandan migrant workers to work abroad It explains that the lack of comprehensive provisions regulating the recruitment and employment of migrant workers has resulted in reports of migrant workers from Uganda ending up in conditions indicative of human trafficking limited supervision and protection and at worst being they lose their lives In addition to that the bill seeks to regulate the employment of migrant workers in Uganda arguing that the current Employment Act only prohibits the illicit movements of migrant workers in and out of the country The proposed law requires an employer to ensure that the migrant worker has a valid work permit as well as to maintain a record of all migrant workers employed in the workplace A person who violates this section commits an offense and is subject to a fine not to exceed two hundred monetary points or a term of imprisonment not to exceed three years or both the bill read in part The proposed law is also intended to require employers to establish reasonable lactation stations for nursing mothers in the workplace Upon the expiration of an employee s maternity leave the employer shall grant the nursing employee a thirty minute daily break to breastfeed for every two hours of continuous work or a reduction in contractual daily work hours for sixty days additional skills the bill says in part The bill argues that although article 40 4 of the Constitution establishes the protection of all female workers during pregnancy and after childbirth the current Employment Law does not contain a comprehensive and explicit provision that promotes the rights of mothers infants Vice President Thomas Tayebwa referred the bill to the Committee on Gender Labor and Social Development The Private Partner Law Project drawn up by the Workers Deputy Hon Agnes Kunihira was approved for the first time in the 10th Parliament It was one of several bills that expired according to Rule 235 1 of the Regulations The provision states that a bill petition or other matter or a committee expires with the mandate of Parliament
Occasional workers contemplated in the new Employment Law

1 The Employment (Amendment) Bill, 2022 which seeks to, among other things, regulate the employment of casual workers, has been reintroduced for First Reading.

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2 The bill was introduced by Br. Margaret Rwabushaija (IND., Workers) during the plenary session on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

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3 According to the bill, the current Employment Law only defines an occasional employee but does not legislate nor does it make provisions for the employment of casual employees.

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4 The bill, therefore, seeks to convert temporary employment into long-term employment, establishing that a person may not be employed as a casual worker for a period exceeding four months.

5 “The casual worker hired continuously for four months will have the right to a written contract and will cease to be a casual worker and all the rights and benefits enjoyed by other workers will be applicable to him,” reads part of the bill.

6 The bill also seeks to regulate the employment of Ugandans abroad by directing the responsible minister to prescribe the minimum employment standards applicable to persons hired to work abroad.

7 Minimum employment standards under the bill include job description, hours of work, guaranteed wages and emoluments and workers’ compensation benefits, and protection against war risks, among others.

8 The Bill states that the Employment (Recruitment of Migrant Workers) Regulations 2005 do not provide provisions of principle on the recruitment and placement of Ugandan migrant workers to work abroad.

9 It explains that the lack of comprehensive provisions regulating the recruitment and employment of migrant workers has resulted in reports of migrant workers from Uganda ending up in conditions indicative of human trafficking, limited supervision and protection, and, at worst, being they lose their lives.

10 In addition to that, the bill seeks to regulate the employment of migrant workers in Uganda, arguing that the current Employment Act only prohibits the illicit movements of migrant workers in and out of the country.

11 The proposed law requires an employer to ensure that the migrant worker has a valid work permit, as well as to maintain a record of all migrant workers employed in the workplace.

12 “A person who violates this section commits an offense and is subject to a fine not to exceed two hundred monetary points or a term of imprisonment not to exceed three years, or both,” the bill read in part.

13 The proposed law is also intended to require employers to establish reasonable lactation stations for nursing mothers in the workplace.

14 “Upon the expiration of an employee’s maternity leave, the employer shall grant the nursing employee a thirty-minute daily break to breastfeed for every two hours of continuous work, or a reduction in contractual daily work hours for sixty days.

15 additional skills.

16 ”, the bill says in part.

17 The bill argues that although article 40 (4) of the Constitution establishes the protection of all female workers during pregnancy and after childbirth, the current Employment Law does not contain a comprehensive and explicit provision that promotes the rights of mothers.

18 infants.

19 Vice President Thomas Tayebwa referred the bill to the Committee on Gender, Labor and Social Development.

20 The Private Partner Law Project, drawn up by the Workers’ Deputy, Hon. Agnes Kunihira, was approved for the first time in the 10th Parliament.

21 It was one of several bills that expired, according to Rule 235(1) of the Regulations.

22 The provision states that a bill, petition or other matter or a committee expires with the mandate of Parliament.

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