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ISSUE 55 | AUGUST 2023
AN OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE FEDERATION OF UGANDA EMPLOYERS
THE VOICE OF EMPLOYERS
THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
Dear Esteemed Member,
At the 108th International Labour Conference (ILC), the Violence and Harrassment Convention, 2019 was adopted as the first international labour standard to recognise the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment. As the premier voice of Employers on social and economic issues, FUE commends the Government’s decision to ratify Convention 190 making Uganda the 32nd country in the world and the 8th African
country to endorse the convention. This landmark ratification is a notable milestone to guarantee a future of work based on dignity and respect.
In a bid to enhance employer competiteveness, the Federation participated in a validation workshop organised by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) to assess anti-corruption governance tools. We firmly believe these tools are significant to address bribery and corruption in the private sector that have hindered economic growth. FUE looks forward to working with relevant stakeholders to implement these initiatives within the business community.
Furthermore, FUE conducted a virtual general sensitisation to share valuable insights on developing an employee well-being guide at the workplace in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act 2006, Section 13(1a) that states the responsibility of the employer to take, as far as reasonably practicable, all measures for the protection of his or her workers and the general public from dangerous aspects of the employer’s undertaking at his or her own cost. The main purpose of the webinar was to support employers design strategies to cater for the overall mental, physical, emotional and economic health of the workforce to boost productivity and reduce employee retention for organisational growth.
As tripartite partners strive to achieve decent work for all, FUE is always at your service to ensure you uphold good business practices because, ‘Every Good Employer is a Member of the Federation of Uganda Employers’.
Together for Employers.
UGANDA RATIFIES CONVENTION 190
According to a research conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) and Gallup, more than one in five people (23%) in employment have experienced violence and harassment at work whether physical, psychological or sexual. FUE is delighted that on 7th August 2023, Uganda ratified Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment At Work. Ambassador Marcel Tibaleka, Uganda’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva deposited the instrument of ratification on behalf of the Government. Uganda becomes the 32nd country in the world and the 8th African country to ratify the convention.
As the sole Employers organisation in Uganda, this landmark ratification is a notable milestone to shape a future of work based on dignity and respect. We are keen on ensuring organisations operate within the standards of the law and uphold good employment practices to promote decent work for all. The Federation will work with other tripartite partners to promote the implementation of all international labour standards.
Furthermore, the ILO Director General, Mr. Gilbert Houngbo appreciated the Ugandan government for the decisive steps to ratify Convention 190. He applauded the Ambassador and his team for their dedication to combat violence and harassment in the world of work. Mr. Gilbert also advocated for other nations to follow Uganda’s example to improve working conditions especially for migrant workers.
A safe, respectful and favorable work environment is every Employers responsibility. We implore business leaders to uphold this new international labour standard within their various organisations.
FUE PARTICIPATES IN PSFU VALIDATION MEETING OF PRIVATE SECTOR ANTI-CORRUPTION GOVERNANCE TOOLS
On 21st and 22nd August 2023, FUE participated in a validation workshop hosted by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) at Hotel Africana. The main objective of the meeting was to enable key stakeholders assess anti-corruption governance tools developed by PSFU to address corruption and bribery tendencies in the private sector. Participants included government officials, private sector players, Employers and other stakeholders.
PSFU conducted a survey which identified three primary challenges faced by the private sector in Uganda namely skills and attitudes, access to finance and corruption. In order to address the issue of corruption and bribery, PSFU has initiated the development of corporate governance tools
specifically tailored for SMEs and is actively promoting the adoption of corporate governance practices. The developed tools encompass important policies such as the Anti-Corruption Policy, Procurement Policy and Human Resources Policy.
As a key stakeholder in employment and labour matters, FUE looks forward to the implementation of these tools to greatly assist SMEs in fostering a culture of ethics and integrity, establish trust with investors and safeguard the company reputation. Additionally, these efforts will contribute to wider initiatives aimed at combating misuse of office and exploitation in the course of employment.
Employers are encouraged to take charge of promoting good corporate governance practices and business ethics at the workplace. The Federation is committed to collaborate with other stakeholders to cultivate transparency, integrity and accountability within the business community.
COORDINATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS IN CONTEXT WITH THE EAC COMMON MARKET PROTOCOL TRAINING
The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) was represented at a 3-Day National Training from 21st to 23rd August, 2023 on ‘Coordination of Social Security Benefits in line with the East African Community Common Market Protocol’ at Protea Hotel, Entebbe. The training was organised by the Ministry of East African Community Affairs (MEACA) in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Participants included officials from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD), Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA), National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Parliamentary Pension Scheme, Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), National Organisation of Trade Union (NOTU), Save for Health, Platform for Labour Action among others.
Article 10 (3) (1) of the Common Market Protocol stipulates that the free movement of workers shall entail a worker to enjoy the rights and benefits of social security as accorded to the workers of the host partner state. Correspondingly, Article 12 (2) of the protocol provides that the partner states shall undertake to review and harmonise the national social security policies, laws, and systems to provide for social security for self-employed persons who are citizens of partner states.
The informative training aimed at ensuring that institutions managing social security in the partner states and the authorities responsible for the regulation and supervision of social security institutions are enlightened on their roles in coordinating social security and in ensuring that citizens of East African Community enjoy the social security rights irrespective of where they live and /or work within the community. In addition, the training was intended to help policy makers, employers and workers both in the formal and informal sectors, the general public and Civil Society Groups to know the rights and obligations of workers/employees in regard to social security benefits in case they live or work in more than one partner states within the East African Community region.
During the training sessions, the following observations were made;
- Coordination is a step towards harmonisation of social security rights and benefits in view of the different policies, laws and systems in partner states.
- Equality of treatment is one of the core principles in coordination of social security benefits
- Coordination of social security benefits does not necessarily require harmonisation of the national laws
- Coordination of social security systems is the best option in the present circumstances in the EAC partner states
- Portability of social security benefits is possible if related provisions are included in national legislations
- Harmonisation does not lead to infringement of national sovereignty of partner states since it is done to realise the implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol
- The health component is missing in the Draft Regulations among the proposed coordinated social security benefits
- The currency for settlement of benefits should be administered in a way that protects worker’s benefits from losing value during the process of transfer from one partner state to another
- The benefits administration system in the partner states to which benefits will be paid should protect these benefits from tax related expenses which may erode the value of benefits accrued by beneficiaries
- The need to have proper clarification on the roles of competent authorities in implementing coordination arrangement
Furthermore, a report was prepared with the following recommendations to EAC Secretariat;
- Establish a regional Technical Working Group with representation from relevant ministries, Competent Institutions/ Authorities and social partners to oversee the implementation of the Regulations
- Reintroduce the draft EAC Portability of Health Entitlement Bill 2018 for consideration by East African Legislative Assembly (EALA)
- Partner states to consider putting in place mechanisms to avoid double taxation of ported benefits
- Convene a meeting of Competent Authorities/ Institutions to develop an action plan for the implementation of the Regulations
- Convene a training of trainer’s session to facilitate continuous capacity building for social security practitioners
- Convene a regional meeting of experts from competent institutions/ authorities to discuss and agree on the administrative arrangements for the implementation of the regulations on coordination of social security benefits
GENERAL SENSITISATION ON DEVELOPING AN EMPLOYEE WELL-BEING GUIDE AT THE WORKPLACE
Employee well-being can be defined as the overall mental, physical, emotional and economic health of your workforce. We were delighted to conduct a virtual general sensitisation on the topic, ‘A Practical Guide to Developing An Employee Well-Being Guide At The Workplace’ on Wednesday 16th August 2023 from 10:00am (EAT).
During the webinar, participants were enlightened on the six pillars of employee well-being for instance job security, financial security, support systems, social protection, work-life integration, physical and mental health. The benefits of employee well-being were shared such as boosting productivity, curbing employee retention, easing recruitment, improving the company image, reducing costs from poor health and absenteeism. Human Resource practitioners were further advised to solicit management support to develop an efficient employee wellbeing plan to benefit the entire organisation.
In addition, Employers received a standard template to develop an employee wellbeing guide which includes conducting assessments, securing management support, establishing a wellness committee, setting goals and objectives, securing a budget, designing program components, selecting incentives and rewards, communicating the wellness plan, implementing the plan and evaluating the program.
It’s vital for business leaders and management teams to invest in employee wellness for the entire workforce to boost maximum productivity and enhance efficient service delivery.
To request a customised training, contact Yusuf Nsubuga, the Training Manager firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you missed the webinar, click the links to access the recording;
THE 4TH BI-ANNUAL PRIVATE SECTOR CEO RETREAT
The 4th Bi-Annual Private Sector CEO retreat was held from 2nd to 3rd August 2023 at the Kiira Vehicle Plant located in the Jinja Industrial Business Park. The event was organised by the Presidential CEO Forum (PCF) bringing together company leaders aimed to position Uganda as a net source of e-mobility solutions in Africa. H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda graced the retreat as Chief Guest among other dignitaries such as the Prime Minister, the Busoga Cultural Leader among others . The theme for the retreat was, ’Uganda’s Industrialisation Agenda: Positioning Uganda As a Net Source of E-Mobility Solutions in Africa’.
In his speech, President Museveni revealed that the economy
needs to be jump-started from $55b to $550b to improve livelihoods. He pledged the Government’s plan to buy locally made electric vehicles for some institutions to support off taker demand in the economy. Mr Museveni advised local and foreign investors to enhance value addition of products and services to advance socio-economic transformation.
FUE was represented by the Executive Director, Mr. Douglas Opio at the retreat. As Employers, it was a valuable opportunity to interact with the private sector leaders to foster sustainable development. The panel discussions and conference proceedings provided a platform to deliberate on pertinent issues of work and business operations to ensure smooth relations and collaborations between the private and public sector.
In order to promote socio-economic transformation, business leaders, Employers and the governnment need to work together to influence policy formation, improve infrastructure, invest in value addition of local products and remit statutory taxes.
FUE MEMBER ENGAGEMENT
The FUE team was delighted to pay a courtesy visit to Nile Vocational Institute, Jinja. Mr. Ongerepu Edson, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the institute was glad to engage with the FUE team to discuss membership, trainings and areas of collaboration. We are always at your service.
FUE STAFF COMMENTARY
MAKE DELIBERATE EFFORT TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN MUTUAL TRUST AT WORKPLACE
“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair”, says Amy Rees Anderson, a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and public speaker. True, we all thrive when we feel trusted and when we trust others. In the business world, trust is one word we hear time and again. It is the highest form of human motivation that drives performance and the key to business success. Trust is everything.
For any workplace, increase in production, productivity and business competitiveness are necessary factors but not sufficient to bring about business success. The sufficiency requires consistency in business performance which majorly hinges on your ability to maintain trust relationships with your customers, workforce, and business partners. In this regard, Albert Einstein, a Scientist and Nobel Prize laureate asserted, “Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust”.
According to Erik Kikuchi, a Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) coach, building trust relationships in business with your customers, workforce, and partners matter the most. Trust and respect are twin pillars of successful business and customer relationships. When people honor each other, there is a trust established that leads to synergy, interdependence, and deep respect. Both parties make decisions and choices based on what is right, what is best, and what is valued most highly.
Similarly, a recent study conducted by Deloitte shows that trusted companies outperform their peers by up to 400%, customers who trust a brand are 88% more likely to buy again, and that 79% of employees who trust their employer are more motivated to work (and less likely to leave). In addition, a survey that was done by Price Waterhouse Coopers in 2016 reported that 55% of CEOs think a lack of trust is the biggest threat to their business performance.
Therefore, maintaining trust will not only help your organisation to retain the best employees and customers but also get more business dealings from your clients in form of tenders, consultancies and connection to new clients. Trust is the greatest opportunity to creating a competitive advantage and for earning lifelong loyalty from stakeholders.
Lumen (2017) defines trust as a positive expectation that another individual will not act opportunistically at another’s expense. Oxford Dictionary defines it as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something. It is the belief that somebody is good, honest, sincere, and that they will do what you expect of them or do the right thing.
According to Deloitte on their online publication ‘The Enterprise Trust ‘(2023), there are four factors that determine trust with your customers, workforce, and partners. These factors include humanity, capability, transparency, and reliability. While Lumen (2017), an online learning information gives five dimensions of trust. These include integrity, competence, consistency, loyalty and openness.
This then begs the question: How do we measure trust at workplace? One of the methods which can be used by your organisation to measure trust is Deloitte’s TrustIQ™. It is a diagnostic tool that provides you with an opportunity to quantify the current state of trust at your organization. TrustIQ™ measures and quantifies performance across the various dimensions of trust including the fore mentioned. Through this tool, you can generate a 360° view of trust across the enterprise-wide domains by considering internal perspectives, external sentiments, and industry benchmarks in order to identify the necessary actions to improve one’s business capabilities and drive performance.
In addition, Deloitte provides five steps to embed trust in your organization. These steps include; Explore what trust mean within the context of your industry and sector; Assess the necessary actions your organization can take to elevate the levels of trust among stakeholders; Prioritise the key areas of focus to help enhance, protect, and rebuild trust once the trust gaps have been established; Activate /implement the changes to the areas that are deemed to be of highest priority; and Protect or ensure that the hard work you’re putting in now in rebuilding trust is preserved regardless of the dynamics your organization might face in process.
Therefore, mutual trust, much more than money, is not only the currency of any business but also the glue that holds business relationships together. Building and maintaining trust strengthens stakeholder relationships and improves workplace productivity which is the cornerstone for business success. As Roy Bennett rightly counsels: “Keep your promises and be consistent so that you can be the kind of person others can trust”. Consistency is the true foundation of trust. However, this trust must be mutual where each party should have reciprocal confidence in another in fulfilling their obligations and in behaving as expected. Indeed, mutual trust creates solid business relationships which propel organisational success.
By Patrick Ajuna, Policy and Research Officer