WORD FROM THE ED

Dear Valued Member,

Welcome the February 2022 Newsletter Edition.

Our Executive Director has a vital message on what Employers can expect from FUE this year.

Watch here!

In This Issue

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THE EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AWARD (EYA) LAUNCH 2022

The Employer of the Year Award (EYA) was initiated by FUE in 2001 to identify, rank, and recognize the best human resource and business management practices among organisations. For 20 years now, the Employer of the Year Award survey has been a valuable benchmark for organisations to adopt best practices through learning and sharing.

On Friday 11th February, we officially launched EYA 2022 under the theme ‘Employer Resilience in a COVID-19 World and Beyond’ at Golf Course Hotel Kampala with the EYA technical committee chaired by Ms. Brenda Kyasiimire. The EYA Survey and Awards 2022 seeks to recognize best practices in all organisations including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), multi-national companies, and large corporations.

The objectives for EYA are;

EYA 2022 is the second phase of the previously concluded Employee Survey termed ‘EYA Phase One’ conducted in partnership with Prudential and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) themed ‘Employee Resilience’. The employee survey sought to identify key trends and insights on the continuous pursuit of HR excellence/best practices in various participating companies as well as highlighting key recommendations for improvement.

During the launch, the EYA Technical Committee Chairperson, Ms. Brenda Kyasimiire in her speech emphasized the purpose of this year’s survey aimed to document the experiences of Employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also revealed that the survey will amplify the current Employer dynamics in an open and transparent process with free participation for all to ensure a sufficient sample space.

A detailed presentation on the different aspects that will be considered to award Employers was presented by the EYA Research Consultant, Prof. Julius Kikooma. The Employers will be awarded based on the six dimensions of the resilience imperative including the financial, technological, operational, organizational, reputational, and business model resilience. The survey will also measure virtual engagement in the workplace, business transformation, talent management as well as employee health and wellness. Data will be collected using soft and hard copy questionnaires in addition to conducting verification interviews to confirm findings.

In the past, Employers have been recognized and awarded for best practices in areas of disability inclusion, innovation, and entrepreneurship among others.

A CALL TO PARTICIPATION

We strongly encourage all Employers that desire to increase workforce productivity, embrace Corporate Social Responsibility and enhance profit maximization to participate in the EYA 2022 survey. Participation is free! Join a network of reputable organisations excelling in the employment sector. For inquiries contact info@fuemployers.org | 0392777410

NOTICE OF THE 43RD ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The 43rd Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Uganda Employers will be held on Thursday, 24th March 2022 from 8:00 am to 1:00pm at Golf Course Hotel, Kampala.

The Governing Council emphasises that effort will be made to ensure the meeting is successful and valuable to members. You are therefore requested to ensure that your organisation is represented.

You are encouraged to attend in PERSON or by PROXY. Your attention is drawn to Section 9(G) subsection 4 of the FUE Constitution regarding the appointment of a proxy to the Annual General Meeting. Please submit the name, mobile telephone number and email address of the person who will represent your organisation.

We encourage you to pay your annual membership subscription fee before the AGM.

Kindly click the links below to download the documents for your attention;

We look forward to your attendance and active participation.

Thank you.

Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha,
Chairperson, Governing Council

EMPLOYERS’ ADVISORY NOTE

Social Dialogue

With various stakeholders albeit with different interests the success of the business can be a nightmare to those entrusted with management tasks. Employees are one of the most important stakeholders to whom businesses need to have keen interest. The proven way to manage human capital is through engagement or social dialogue.

Social dialogue in simple terms refers to all types of negotiation, consultation or simply sharing of information among parties on issues of common interest usually between representatives of government, employers and workers (tripartite) or employers and workers (bipartite).

Social dialogue is a key instrument that enhances social cohesion and good governance.
Social dialogue is a key instrument for economic and social cohesion and good governance. It plays an important role in organizations by promoting harmonious labour relations, fair and decent working conditions, job creation, inclusive growth and competitiveness.

Fair terms of employment, decent working conditions, safety and health at work and development for the benefit of all cannot be achieved without the active involvement of workers, employers and governments through social dialogue.

Tripartite social dialogue between, governments and representative workers’ and employers’ organizations help build strong labour market institutions that contribute to long-term social and economic stability and peace.

Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) plays an important role to advance social dialogue. As an employer member-based organization FUE voices employers concerns on the various platforms by virtue of being a member of the tripartite at both local and international level.

FUE supports employers during negotiation with labour unions, mediation and sometimes disciplinary hearing for member companies.

FUE consults with government, Labour unions and other stakeholders on behalf of employers at national, regional and is regular at the International Labour Congress (ILC), where the international instruments on employment and labour are enacted.

Employers are encouraged to embrace social dialogue, the cheaper and easier way to resolve conflicts at work. FUE is here to make social dialogue work.

EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS TIP

In every work world, it is cognizant that enterprises and establishments recruit potential employees from different backgrounds, countries, and regions. This implies that each employee’s behaviour and conduct will be different from that of another. But because the workplace is a unifying environment capable of attracting persons of different skill sets, attributes, and from different backgrounds, it is important to have in place a designated workplace culture to enable employees to perform to the expected standards.

Workplace culture is a set of shared beliefs, values, and attitudes that will be exhibited by all employees in the course of their employment in an organization. Whilst it is expected that a positive workplace culture will naturally form on its own, it is important that every management team becomes intentional in its efforts to create a positive workplace culture that is intended to drive the desired performance.

Here are some of the considerations that every employer should take note of;

The NSSF (Midterm Access) Regulations Consultative Meeting

On Thursday 24th February 2022, Employers gathered at Hotel Africana from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm for a consultation meeting on the National Social Security Fund (Amendment) Act, 2022. The Act was assented to by the H.E the President 2nd January 2022 and gazetted on 7th January 2022. Section 20A (1) of the said Act provides for the midterm access to benefits.

In Section 20A (4) of the Act, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development is required in consultation with the board to

prescribe by statutory instrument the terms, conditions and procedure for accessing the accrued midterm benefits. Furthermore, section 1(2) of the Act, provides that the minister shall in consultation with the board, by statutory instrument, commence section 20A (1) and (2) on midterm access to benefits with in sixty (60) days from the date of publication of the Act in the gazzete.

In the bid to fulfil this particular section, the Minister drafted the regulation to enable the operationalization of the said sections above. Being key

stakeholders, Employers were consulted on the draft regulations on the midterm access to social security benefits.

During the consultative meeting, Employers raised concerns and gave recommendations for amendments to the draft regulations.

Employers approved the regulations with amendments.

Special thanks to all Employers who participated in process.

GENERAL SENSITISATION ON THE LABOUR DISPUTES (ARBITRATION AND SETTLEMENT) (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2020

On Tuesday 15th February, we held a virtual sensitization to update and inform Employers about the changes introduced in the Labour Disputes (Arbitration and Settlement) Amendment Act 2020 which came into force on 23rd July 2021. The amended act replaces the Labour Disputes (Arbitration and Settlement) Act 2006. Participants included CEOs, Directors, General Managers, Human Resource Managers, and Legal Officers among others.

The sensitization was conducted to foster a clear understanding of the new implications of the Act on workplace practices and procedures. The amendment strengthens the Industrial Court with more judges, panels, powers, tenure and adjusts conditions of service of the courts’ judges making them similar to judicial officers in the High Court.

It is vital for every Employer to receive this valuable information regarding the new amendments in the Labour Disputes (Arbitration and Settlement) Act 2020 to reduce industrial court cases and foster good employment relations.

If you missed this training, kindly contact Yusuf Nsubuga, Training Manager on yusuf.nsubuga@fuemployers.org for an in-house session.

FUE STAFF COMMENTARY

Embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution at Workplace

“The best way to be understood is to be understanding”, goes the old adage. In every social institution and workplace inclusive, there is bound to be conflicts at any particular point in time at an individual, interpersonal, group and inter-group levels arising from conflicting styles, resources, pressures, and varying perceptions in interests, views, goals, or when one party perceives that another has frustrated, or is about to frustrate some of their concerns.

Conflicts are inevitable. A workplace that has not experienced conflicts among workers in a long period of time would simply imply that one of the following situations obtain: Either there is lack of accountability and therefore no one feels accountable for producing great work and bringing ideas to the table or people have no permission to speak their mind or people just don’t care about the work or wrong people who are incapable of forming their own opinions were hired.

So, the occurrence of conflicts at the workplace and other social institutions is not always bad. Conflict can be healthy through increasing awareness of the problem that exists and provides a reason for finding a better way forward.

When the process of conflict resolution is valued, it encourages an environment where change is seen as positive – a way of making things better and therefore innovation thrives. Besides, it helps conflicting parties/ teams to make more effective decisions and strengthens relations.

Thankfully, there’s always potential for resolution in almost every conflict. In fact, resolution is what God intended for all of creation. However, the process of dealing with conflict to achieve constructive 

rather than destructive results is very essential.

An important goal should always be to achieve or set the stage for true conflict resolution so that the underlying reasons for a given conflict are eliminated. How then can we achieve it? As Dean Rusk rightly emphasized: “listening to other people’s concerns is one of the best ways to persuade them”.

As they say, an individual with information can’t help but take responsibility, so, the relationship of trust depends on our willingness to look not only to our own interests, but also the interests of others in a manner that would generate a win/win attitude on both sides.

Similarly, the law of win/win says, “Let’s not do it your way or my way; let’s do it the best way”. In this regard, Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest and most successful Presidents of the United States of America once advised, “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbours to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often the real loser — in fees, and expenses, and waste of time. As a peace-maker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough”.

Therefore, the best way to resolve conflicts is through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). ADR refers to any means of settling disputes/conflicts outside of the courtroom. The essential focus of ADR is that it provides techniques to deal with disputes in a manner which is non-violent, avoids dominance or oppression by one party over the other, and rather than exploiting one party, it aims at meeting the human needs of both parties.

These techniques and means which are used to resolve conflicts/disputes in a non-confrontational way can be in form of negotiation, conciliation, mediation or arbitration. Alternative Dispute Resolution is as well provided for in the laws of Uganda, particularly the following legislations: The Labour Disputes (Arbitration and Settlement) Act of 2006; the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, Cap. 4; the Judicature Act, Cap. 13 and the Judicature (Commercial

Court Division) (Mediation) Rules, No. 55 of 2007; Judicature (Mediation) Rules (No. 10 of 2013); the Civil Procedure Act, Cap. 71 and the Civil Procedure Rules S.I 71-1.

The primary purpose of ADR is to save time and money of both parties to a dispute and to keep matters out of court through the promotion of peaceful settlement of disputes. Whereas it is not compulsory for the conflicting parties to go for the Alternative Dispute Resolution, it is a worthwhile endeavor that deserves to be considered first in conflict resolution.

In addition, while mediation and arbitration are the two most common forms of ADR which involves a neutral third party who is responsible for facilitating the dialogue and discussion between the two conflicting parties to arrive at agreements and settlement outside the litigation process, negotiation is always attempted first by the conflicting parties without the aid of a neutral third party. It is completely a voluntary process with the desired end being consensus.

The main advantage of negotiation in dispute resolution is that it provides room for both parties to control the conflict resolution process to reach a consensus by themselves without involving a third party. Besides, negotiation is one of the widely used forms of social dialogue – the International Labour Organisation’s best mechanism in promoting better living and working conditions as well as social justice.

As Nelson Mandela once said, “Negotiation and discussion are the greatest weapons we have for promoting peace and development”. Indeed, through negotiation, we can address conflicts constructively, and harness their energy for creativity and development.

Therefore, the best practice in a non-confrontational conflict resolution requires that one uses whatever strategy that seems appropriate to their situation. If one technique doesn’t work, another one can be tried until a mutual consensus/agreement is reached.

By Patrick Ajuna
Policy and Research Officer

78% OF UGANDA: A NATIONAL TREASURE

Just recently, following the full re-opening of the economy, I have been reflecting on a number of issues concerning Uganda and I can’t help to wonder if as a nation we have discovered what to treasure and what trash. The past two years gave way for intense reflection and if anything, despite the great loss of lives and livelihoods suffered, it was an opportunity to learn, unlearn and re-learn. One of my reflections is the fact that Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world. According to the World Bank, Uganda holds 2nd place in the world with about 78% of the population below the age of 30. But most of the time, this statistic is mentioned with dash of distress, ultimately because of the state of the nation. The thought of 78% of the population being youth that require access to quality education, employment, health care, ready markets, and all-round inclusion usually turns the heat up for policy makers and implementers. But this should not be the case, I believe this is one of the biggest advantages our country has, and with the right level of clarity and strategy we can definitely reach great heights.

According to the United Nations, there are about 1.2 billion youth accounting for 16% of the global population and this number is projected to rise to 1.3 billion by 2030. So, it goes without saying that youth are here to stay and can no longer be spoken about as liabilities but rather as prospects. Youth were the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and for a steady recovery,

we must apply a ‘human-centred recovery’ approach with Youth as pivotal.

Now more than ever is a chance for us to refine our systems and create an enabling environment for youth to perform at their greatest potential and contribute to a more productive economy. The labour market for instance, having a youthful population is a source of abundant labour force that could generate significant tax income to the economy, however, the reality is that our economy needs more labour intensive investments to achieve this. As it stands, in Uganda brain drain is on the rise, thousands of skilled and semi-skilled youth leave the country every year in search of work, putting the country at a huge loss. By nature, youth are dynamic and thirst for learning and success. It is therefore, only natural that they migrate in search for an environment that will spur their growth. Essentially, better education, employment opportunities and favourable entrepreneurial conditions will create a bountiful supply of quality labour and boost our economy.

Have you ever stopped to wonder how certain societal conditions lag us behind and cause laxity? A case in point, is youth engaged as ‘taxi-touts’, this, in our society is considered a labour activity which like many others, only provides enough income for hand-to-mouth survival. Just imagine how much more productive these individuals would be doing more mentally engaging work. The World Bank Human Capital Index suggests that due to unequal human capital development opportunities for youth, an average child born in Uganda would only be 38% as productive as an adult due to lack of quality education, healthcare, and other basic requirements for growth and exposure.

Heeding to SDGs through social inclusion plays a huge role in realising the value of young people.

Society should consider young people as best capable of building a new socio-economic status and thus should be given the power of mutual sustenance.

Youth achieve gratification when they are surrounded by a community that values them by respecting their rights and recognising their contributions. The aspect of youth involvement in the design and administration of programs, policies and in other decisions that affect their lives increases effectiveness and contributes to their development. Therefore, this must always be taken into keen consideration without tire.

Consider even just the simple things we may take for granted, imagine how much renewable energy can be generated naturally with only the 78% of our population. With the latest global research and innovation on the production of clean electrical energy through footsteps, exercise equipment among others, we can harness the day-to-day activities and vibrancy of Youth to fully utilise resources for sustainability. But then again, in order to accommodate innovations such as these, we need favourable infrastructure in place which is still lacking.

Although youth may often be perceived as a burden or contributing to society’s problems, we are important assets for the economic, political, and social life of our communities. Recognition of this significance and the fact that the future of our nation is tied to our development is an essential ingredient for sustainable development both today and tomorrow.

Uganda’s 78% is indeed a treasure to be treasured.

By Beatrice Mujuni
Policy Advocacy and Communications Practitioner

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