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ISSUE 51 | APRIL 2023
AN OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE FEDERATION OF UGANDA EMPLOYERS
THE VOICE OF EMPLOYERS
THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
Dear Valued Member,
Welcome to the second quarter of 2023!
Since the inception of the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), it has been affiliated to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) which has provided both technical and financial support to accomplish various projects. It was an absolute honor to host Mr. Wellington Chibebe, the ILO Director East Africa at our head offices for a
courtesy visit to discuss areas of collaboration and partnerships to ensure Employers uphold decent work labour standards. Special appreciation to Mr. Chibebe for his commitment and diligent service that has greatly transformed the Employers’ fraternity in the East African region.
One of FUE’s core services is policy and advocacy which includes representing employers’ interests before government and other relevant authorities. The Policy and Research Department presented an updated position of Employers’ views on the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022 before the Parliamentary Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development to ensure pertinent issues on labour and employment matters are incorporated before the bill is passed into law.
In a bid to foster job creation and youth employability, FUE in partnership with the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), Microsoft and Synapse Centre successfully launched the Tech@Work Program in Uganda. Tech@Work seeks to train over 5,000 young people with digital skills to boost entrepreneurship and reduce unemployment. The new world of work dictates the need for organisations to adapt digital technology to improve service delivery and enhance employer competiteveness at global level.
Mark your calendars for the 1st FUE-CEO Breakfast Meeting on Friday 26th May 2023 to gain knowledge, share experiences and network with seasoned business leaders excelling in diverse sectors of the economy!
Together for Employers.
TECH@WORK PROGRAM LAUNCH UGANDA
Approximately 62% of Africa’s population was below the age of 25 in 2019. Although this demographic is expected to slightly fall to 59% in 2030 and decline further to around 52% in 2050, this large, dynamic youth cohort could be an asset if unemployment, education, and rising inequality are addressed.
FUE in partnership with International Organisation of Employers (IOE), Microsoft and Synapse Centre launched the Tech@Work Program in Uganda on Thursday 27th April 2023 at the Sheraton Hotel Kampala. The Tech@Work project is aimed at nurturing and equipping 5,000 young people, women, entrepreneurs, potential and existing workers (16 to
35 years) in Uganda with practical 21st century digital skills to increase employability and entrepreneurship. In Africa, the target is 20,000 people in four countries namely Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho and Botswana. Hon. Monica Musenero Masanza, the Minister of Science, Innovation and Technology graced the event as Guest of Honor.
Esteemed speakers Mr. Douglas Opio, FUE Executive Director, Mr. Robert Suarez, Secretary General IOE and Ms. Winnie, representative from Microsoft highlighted knowledge sharing, skills development and partnerships among various stakeholders including the government, academic institutions, youth organisations and tech hubs to champion the digital transformation journey in Uganda.
The Guest of Honor, Hon. Monica Musenero Masanza in her speech advocated for solution-based innovations, mind-set shift, policy development and mentorship as key drivers of digital transformation. She advised youth to leverage technology and social media platforms to develop new ideas as well as advertise products and services to a wide global audience. Hon. Musenero further encouraged young innovators to apply for grants provided by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Technology to grow their businesses.
The launch event featured a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Amadou Sako, the IOE Advisor for Africa with seasoned professionals specifically Mr. Martin Wandera, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Prof. Moses Muhwezi, the Deputy Principal Makerere University Business School (MUBS), Mr. Bart Cornille, Enabel, Ms. Linda Abeja, CEO Amariatek Foundation and Ms. Racheal Mwagale, the Executive Director, Junior Achievement Uganda. The discussions focused on different issues ranging from the government policy on youth entrepreneurship, impact of technology on the world of work, the contribution of the education curriculum to employability and the challenges faced by young entrepreneurs.
The Tech@Work Project is a step in the right direction to create over 20 million jobs every year till 2030 to curb the current rates of unemployment. FUE is committed to ensuring the labour market receives a skilled workforce to enhance employer competiteveness and business growth.
To watch a recording of the Tech@Work Launch Event, click the link below:
FUE HOSTS ILO DIRECTOR EAST AFRICA
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is the only tripartite body tasked to ensure governments, employers and workers set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work. ILO has been an instrumental partner of FUE in supporting initiatives including capacity building trainings, the child labour project, digitalisation and job matching among others.
On Monday 17th April 2023, Mr. Wellington Chibebe, the ILO Director East Africa and other delegates paid a courtesy visit to the FUE head offices. Mr. Chibebe’s diligent service and commitment to the work of the Federation over the years increased membership growth from 40% to 65%. This official visit further represented the cordial working relationship between the two partners that is significant to foster collaborations to enhance skills development, eliminate child labour and advance youth entrepreneurship.
As an Employers’ body, we pledge to work together with the ILO and other tripartite partners to develop a conducive work environment for both the private and public sector players in the labour market to achieve economic development.
FUE PRESENTS EMPLOYERS’ POSITION ON EMPLOYMENT (AMENDMENT) BILL
FUE is a core stakeholder on labour and employment matters representing Employers on various national boards and committees. On Thursday, April 6, 2023, the Policy and Research department interfaced with the Parliamentary Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development to present an updated position of the Employers’ views regarding the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022.
The Parliamentary Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development is presently conducting a series of consultation meetings with various stakeholders to discuss contents of the amendment bill. As the committee concludes deliberations on the fore mentioned bill, FUE found it prudent to prepare an updated employers’ position on pertinent issues including providing breast feeding facilities at the workplace, remote working arrangements, labour externalisation, case backlog and the need to recognise Alternative Dispute Resolution Committees. We implore policy makers and government leaders to incorporate these ideas before the bill is tabled before parliament for debate and assention into law.
The Employment Law is a significant instrument required for smooth operations, legal compliance and decent work within the business community. Employers are encouraged to share views to enhance re-adjustment, repealing and additions of certain clauses before the bill is passed into law.
THE GENDER EQUALITY SEAL CERTIFICATION PROGRAMME WORKSHOP
The 5th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 5) is, ’Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls. The Gender Equality Seal (GES) Certification Programme Workshop was convened from 24th to 25th April 2023 at Hotel Africana organised by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU). This workshop aimed to share knowledge, experiences and best practices of the GES program. Participants included gender focal persons, development organisations, human resource practitioners among others.
The representatives from PSFU and UNDP in their opening remarks emphasised the need for gender equality in the world of work to increase productivity and retain top talent. Collective Influence, Partnerships and Policy Development were highlighted as the main aspects that are vital to ensure equal access to opportunities and gender parity.
FUE is committed to women empowerment and gender equality that is mainly implemented under the FUE Women’s Executive Chapter (FUEWEC) that offers capacity building trainings for women leaders through the Female Future Leadership Program (FFP), Malkia and Annual Women Leadership Conference (AWLC). The Federation also carries out Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) sensitisation meetings to share knowledge with various Employers on reproductive health, eliminating sexual harassment and curbing Gender Based Violence (GBV). Business leaders are encouraged to constitute gender committees, engage in inclusive communication, train all staff and conduct surveys to address gender gaps at work.
Uganda’s Vision 2040 prioritises gender equality to advance socio-economic development. Employers are encouraged to embrace the Gender Equality Seal Program to develop policies and promote a conducive work culture to boost business growth. Organisations that have implemented the GES have realised an increase in revenue, improved workforce productivity and retained top talent.
To participate in the Gender Equality Seal Certification Program, contact Mustaphar Fagayo, email@example.com
WORLD DAY OF OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
In 2022, the International Labour Conference (ILC) adopted a safe and healthy working environment as one of the four fundamental principles and rights at work. The World Day of Safety and Health at Work is commemorated annually and this year it was observed on Friday 28th April 2023 under the theme, ‘A Safe and Healthy Working Environment as a Fundamental Principle and Right at Work’. The main aim of this day is to remember victims of occupational accidents as well as focus attention on promoting a safety and health culture at workplaces to reduce workplace illnesses, injuries and death.
As a key stakeholder on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), FUE conducts OSH trainings, sensitisations and consultancies to ensure Employers have relevant knowledge on the OSH Act, 2006. The Federation also carries out basic and comprehensive OSH audits to ensure safety measures are in place within workplaces to protect the workforce from occupational hazards and injuries in addition to drafting and reviewing workplace OSH policies at both organisational and national level. Furthermore, FUE supports Employers to do workplace registration under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development as required by section 40 of the OSH Act.
The commemoration activities in 2023 include the inaugural OSH Awards 2023 that aim to recognize and honor companies that have consistently put in place measures to promote the safety and health of their employees and general public.
A safe work environment is everyone’s responsibility within the organisation. Employers are encouraged to develop OSH policies, provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other safety measures while workers are implored to adhere to these measures to eliminate occupational injuries and death.
FUE is readily available to offer trainings and OSH audits to equip Employers. For more information contact Henry Sabah, the OSH Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
FUE PARTICIPATES IN PRESIDENTIAL TOUR OF WEST NILE REGION
In order to ease business operations in the country, Uganda has reduced the amount of bureaucracy needed to secure licenses and permits through the establishment of the One-Stop Centre under the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) as stipulated in the Investment Act, 2019 that has created a single access point for information and service transactions for investors.
On 11th and 12th April 2023, FUE was privileged to participate in, ‘The Presidential Tour of the West Nile Region’ as one of the 14 agencies constituting the UIA One-Stop Centre. The value-addition exhibition of West Nile was organised to promote investment and wealth creation.
H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the Chief Guest advised business leaders to desist from taking huge loans that would eventually lead to the collapse of their organisations. He advised potential investors to exploit commercial agriculture and industralisation. Mr. Museveni further promised that the government is working to provide stable electricity to ease business operations.
The investment forums have gathered numerous participants including government ministries, departments, agencies, Employers and other members of the business community. In Arua, FUE had the distinct opportunity to interact with various employers as well as potential investors situated in the West Nile regions that attended the tour. Participants were enlightened on the wide variety of services and benefits accrued to organisations affiliated to the Federation and encouraged to sign up for membership.
Uganda has numerous investment and business opportunities in rural areas that can be exploited to reduce unemployment, improve livelihoods and boost economic growth. FUE is determined to recruit potential investors to join the membership community.
UNDERSTANDING THE EMPLOYERS’ TAX OBLIGATIONS VIRTUAL SENSITISATION
In Uganda, low tax compliance contributes to a national tax to GDP ratio of 14% well below the 18% average of sub-saharan Africa. FUE was privileged to host a virtual general sensitisation on, ‘Understanding the Employers’ Tax Obligations’ held on 12th April 2023. The main aim of the session was to re-emphasise the need for tax compliance, update employers about the new tax developments, encourage computation of employment and income tax based on financial statements in addition to highlighting the measures to avoid risks associated with non-compliance. Participants included finance managers, human resource managers, tax officers and procurement personnel.
The detailed discussion exposed the new developments in Uganda’s tax regime including display of taxpayer ledgers for regular reviews, client relationship management and mandatory TINs for employees and suppliers.
Employers were enlightened on new amendments to the law such as the increase of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) from 30% to 40% for secondary employment, individual rental tax at 12% of rental chargeable income as well as 30% of 50% income for non-individual rental tax. Participants were further encouraged to ensure withholding tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), PAYE by the 15th day of the month following the month for which the return is made.
Furthermore, the various challenges to tax compliance such as late filing of returns and delayed payment of tax that attract penalties and fines were articulated to ensure Employers save costs and time. In addition, the numerous benefits of compliance were emphasised like business growth, increased working capital and smooth business operations.
Compliance with the tax obligations is one of the key facets every good employer would attribute themselves to in the day-to-day operations. Tax compliance is significant to boost socio-economic transformation.
If you would like an in-house sensitisation for your team, kindly contact Yusuf Nsubuga, the Training Manager, email@example.com.
EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE STRATEGIES THAT WORK WEBINAR
The ‘Employee Performance Strategies That Work’ webinar was hosted by FUE in partnership with BrighterMonday Uganda on Tuesday 25th April 2023. The Guest Speaker was Mr. Henry Tumusiime, the Group Chief Human Resource, Abacus Pharma Ltd.
The training highlighted the business needs that employee performance strategies address such as accountability, business health and compliance to local/regional environment and regulatory aspects. Employers were encouraged to set Key
Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Annual Targets understood by the entire workforce and directly linked to the organisational vision. Participants further gained valuable insights on the practical benefits of performance management strategies including retaining top talent, supporting reward systems and cultural alignment.
New work methods including remote work, digitalisation and gig economy have advanced the need for human resource practitioners to develop clear goals and measure productivity. Its key for organisations to design performance management templates to boost business transformation in the VUCA world.
To access a recap of the webinar, click the link below;
FUE STAFF COMMENTARY
THE EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS (EYA) SURVEY IMPROVES BUSINESS PERFORMANCE
“Benchmarking is a key component of performing exceptionally well in business”, says Hendrith Smith Jr, CEO of Mayflower-Plymouth. Similarly, according to James Dunn, a business expert, all successful companies are constantly benchmarking their competition in order to understand what they have to match up with day-in and day-out for their business to succeed.
What any business needs most for its policy decisions especially strategic ones is the information (data) about what goes on outside it. Thankfully, the Federation of Uganda Employers provide such information to organisations through conducting surveys such as salary surveys and Employer of the Year (EYA) Awards Survey every year to enhance productivity and competitiveness of organizations for economic growth and job creation.
American Society for Quality (2023) defines benchmarking as the process of measuring products, services, and processes against those of organizations known to be leaders in one or more aspects of their operations. Benchmarking provides the necessary insights to help you understand how your organization compares with similar organizations, and even those in different business in terms of products or services. In addition, benchmarking can also help organizations to identify areas, systems, or processes for improvements.
Since human resource is one of the sources of competitive advantage for any business (Becker and Husield, 1998), and the fact that the success of any organization is very much dependent on how their employees perform at the workplace suggests that putting in place strategies to enhance employees’ productivity at workplace becomes inevitable. According to Paul Meyer, productivity is never an accident, it is always the result of commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.
In this regard, prioritising the well-being of employees and building an environment in which employees can feel safe, engaged and valued motivates them to produce high-quality work more efficiently and productively. This ought to be the focus of every employer.
The Federation of Uganda Employers conducts the annual Employer of the Year Awards Survey to recognise employers who have excelled in putting in place outstanding Human Resource policies and best practices that promote decent work and responsible business as one of the means to enhance business competitiveness and for benchmarking purposes.
This annual EYA Survey consider areas such as talent management, employee well-being, workplace culture and alignment, diversity and inclusion, employee engagement and enablement, elimination of child labour, implementation of Occupational Health and Safety (OSH), community involvement and social impact. The information collected from the EYA survey is analysed to produce an ‘Employee Voice Report’ which is meant to help employers to promote self-regulation and peer-to-peer benchmarking and learning from one another for improvement.
During the EYA Awards ceremony, different awards are given out to different categories of companies: Large and Established Organisations, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Young Employers Category, Employers of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) Category, and Employers of Refugees Category, among others. The Annual EYA Survey climaxes with a feedback seminar which is one of the sessions during the Employers’ Conference to disseminate the survey findings among employers for improvement.
Indeed, as Pearl Zhu, an Author rightly puts it, a benchmarking mind is an “interpreter” mind which can bridge the gaps. Companies which are strategic and forward-looking find themselves in a good position to attract and retain their talent. However, if you’re not benchmarking your performance against your competitors implies that you’re just playing with yourself with limited room for improvement.
Therefore, putting in place a conducive workplace environment is a prerequisite to inspiring a positive work ethic, well motivated and engaged human resources that consistently strives for better performance. Participation in EYA Awards Survey avails your organization with such an opportunity to benchmark for better workplace policies and practices that enhances decent work and responsible business.
By Patrick Ajuna,
Policy and Research Officer