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ISSUE 49 | FEBRUARY 2023
AN OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE FEDERATION OF UGANDA EMPLOYERS
THE VOICE OF EMPLOYERS
THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
Dear Esteemed Member,
It’s been an extraordinary month! We hope you are progressing well in your different endeavors and maximising all business opportunities to advance organisational growth.
As the premier voice of Employers in Uganda, we have the sole responsibility to ensure all business professionals operate within the minimum confines of the law. The Employment Act, 2006 is currently
under review and we are all aware that the employment law directly addresses and affects employers. In light of this, we convened a Virtual General Sensitisation to discuss the new clauses within the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022 before it is passed into law. The various recommendations from human resource practitioners and business leaders shared during the session will be incorporated and presented to the parliamentary committee of Gender, Labour and Social Development during our consultative meetings.
In line with our mission to enhance employer competitiveness through policy advocacy, provision of business support services and fostering job creation, FUE in partnership with the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), Microsoft and Synapse Center are pleased to announce that applications for the Tech@Work Program in Uganda are now open. This project aims to provide digital skills to over 5000 aspiring entrepreneurs to reduce on the high rates of unemployment. Eligible participants are encouraged to sign up for this extraordinary opportunity to acquire expert soft skills to boost career development.
Mark your calendars for the FUE 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) slated for Friday 24th March 2023 from 8:00am (EAT) as we share a detailed account of FUE workstreams and achievements over the past year. All FUE members are expected to attend the AGM in large numbers to network and build professional relationships with various business leaders within the same sector to advance the Employers’ fraternity.
Together for Employers.
PARTNERS’ WORKSHOP ON ENHANCING SOCIAL PROTECTION COVERAGE IN UGANDA
The Federation of Uganda Employers joined other partners Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD), National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU), Central Organisation of Free Trade Unions (COFTU), National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Social Protection (UPFSP), Uganda Debt Network (UDN) and Social Protection Platform Uganda (SPPU) in a workshop to review the progress of the project entitled ‘Improving Synergies between Social Protection and Public Finance Management in Uganda’ convened on Friday, 24th February, 2023 at Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel, Entebbe.
The meeting was organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in collaboration with MGLSD, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Help Age International (HAI). The project is part of a larger programme implemented in eight African countries aimed at supporting efforts towards increasing Uganda’s universal social protection coverage with a particular focus on the poor and vulnerable populations.
The ‘Improving Synergies between Social Protection and Public Finance Management in Uganda’ project is a three-year partnership project (2021-2023) funded by the European Union (EU) and being implemented by ILO, UNICEF and HAI supported by MGLSD, FUE, NOTU, COFTU, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED), NSSF, UPFSP and SPPU. During the meeting, each of the partners provided updates on progress of the respective components of the project they are currently implementing geared at enhancing social protection coverage in Uganda.
As FUE, we received support from ILO within the framework of this project to raise general awareness about social security and identified the need for a study to explore the possibilities of improving social security compliance in Uganda. These are the updates on strides taken so far;
- We engaged the services of a consultant to conduct a study to explore the possibilities of improving social security compliance in Uganda. The overall objective was to explore possibilities of improving contributory social security compliance in Uganda.
- A comprehensive report of the above study with findings and recommendations was completed. The report shows that the social security coverage in Uganda is still low. NSSF and other tiers namely mandatory employer-based pension schemes, supplementary voluntary occupational schemes and supplementary voluntary individual schemes all remain low. For instance, NSSF covers about 1.5 million people
- We discovered the need for awareness raising on the business side for Employers to comply with social security obligations especially on increasing productivity. In this regard, FUE organised a workshop for some employers where the study findings and recommendations were disseminated to raise awareness among employers about the benefits companies and organisations enjoy when they comply in meeting social security obligations for their employees.
Therefore, we appeal to all employers to comply with the applicable social security schemes for their employees like NSSF and /or other employer-based pension and health insurance schemes because social protection is a productive factor helping people and economies to prosper. We urge you to keep in mind the fact that social protection is one of the pillars of decent work which is essential to boost maximum productivity, enhance employer competitiveness and enable workers participate effectively in the labour market.
GENERAL SENSITISATION: THE EMPLOYMENT AMENDMENT BILL 2022
The Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022 will be adopted as a substitute for the Employment Act 2006 in light of the present-day government policies and emerging international best practices in the labour market and legal environment. On Tuesday 7th February, we hosted a virtual general sensitisation to notify Employers on the annulled sections, proposed amendments and new additions to the Employment Act 2006 that make up the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022.
The Employment Act, 2006 clauses that highlight the need to have at least 25 employees as the measure to enact sexual harassment policies, the role of adjudication/arbitration by the labour officers as well as sections regarding migrant workers and recruitment permits have been revoked. The proposed adjustments in the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022 include ensuring sexual harassment policies are in place for all organisations no matter the number of
employees, paid sick leave for 6 months from the previous 2 months, providing sufficient and objective reasons for dismissal as well as the right of an employee to lodge a complaint to the labour office incase of unfair dismissal. Additionally, the new sections to the employment law are every employer availing breastfeeding facilities for nursing mothers with children between 3 to 36 months, informing the commissioner of labour regarding collective termination 30 days before action, calculation of severance pay and compensatory order.
Employers recommended reducing the duration of paid sick leave from 6 to 3 months, adopting working from home or flexible work schedules for nursing mothers as opposed to providing breast-feeding facilities and developing faster methods of handling disciplinary cases and dismissal to save time.
Therefore, it’s important to note that the Employment Amendment Bill 2022 is still at consultation stage before the parliamentary committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development and we implore Employers with different views to share them for a consolidated position before it is passed into law.
If you missed this training, log in here for a recap;
To share your views on the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022 with FUE, kindly contact Grace Nabakooza, the Head Employment Relations and Legal, email@example.com.
CHALLENGES IN ALIGNING HR STRATEGIES WITH BUSINESS GOALS WEBINAR
The Human Resource (HR) Strategy in an organisation should outline ways of maximising employee potential to achieve the organisational vision. We were delighted to partner with Brighter Monday Uganda to host an informative webinar on, ‘Challenges in Aligning HR Strategies with Business Goals’ on Wednesday 22nd February 2023. Our Guest Speaker was Ms. Flavia Lwanga, the Human Resources Director, Airtel Uganda.
During the webinar, participants were enlightened on the Human Resources (HR) trends that will affect business strategy in 2023 such as ongoing
employee turnover, new work modalities and limited skill sets due to the changing world of work. Upskilling and reskilling the workforce, employee wellbeing initiatives, recruiting talented personnel and increasing employee engagement in decision making processes were proposed as practical solutions to counter these trends. Participants were further taught the benefits of aligning HR strategies to business goals including improved performance management, high productivity, employee retention and business growth.
In addition, Employers were encouraged to build a talent pipeline customised to their organisation, review the HR strategy and invest in Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) because people are the most valuable asset of any organisation.
Employers are advised to ensure all strategic plans, initiatives and new developments provide favorable conditions for decent work, personal and professional development.
If you missed this training, log in here for a recap;
To request for a customised training suited to your organisation needs, contact the FUE Training Manager, Yusuf Nsubuga, firstname.lastname@example.org
FUE AND IOE CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR TECH@WORK PROGRAM IN 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. In parallel, the rise of the digital economy is stimulating digital innovations across sectors and generating a large pool of job opportunities in the ICT value chain.
FUE in partnership with the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), Microsoft and Synapse Center are pleased to announce that applications for the ‘Tech@Work Program’ in Uganda are now open. Tech@Work is an initiative aimed to provide in-demand digital skills and entrepreneurial expertise to boost career development. The project targets mainly youth, women, micro-entrepreneurs who are currently unemployed or underemployed. Eligible participants should be between 16 to 35 years of age, should have completed primary school and must possess a strong desire to become an entrepreneur.
The training program will run for 9-days entailing blended learning including Basic Digital Literacy, Entrepreneurship and Employability Skills. After the training, participants will receive certificates, obtain internship placements and develop income-generating projects.
If you know individuals that can benefit from this, share the application link:
Let’s work together to ensure youth acquire digital skills to enhance job creation! For more information contact the FUE Focal Person, Ruth Atim, email@example.com.
Watch the video below for a general understanding on the Tech@Work Program;
FUE’S INFLUENCE ON DISABILITY INCLUSION AT THE WORKPLACE
Since 2018, FUE has been the secretariat of the Uganda Business Disability Network (UBDN), led by Employers to promote disability inclusion at the workplace with a current membership of 26 members. Through the UBDN, FUE has conducted sensitisation meetings, held awareness sessions, partnered with institutions such as Light for the World, Sight Savers and participated in disability inclusion career fairs to ensure Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) are employed and thrive in their jobs and businesses.
FUE remains committed to ensuring disability inclusive workplaces and we are pleased to know that several employers and employees have testimonials on the positive influence of the Federation in encouraging Employers to recruit PwDs. Here is a testimonial narrated in sign language by Peter, a PwD thriving in the work environment.
Peter was born normal until he was attacked by malaria at the age of 7 in primary two. The sickness was so severe that he spent two and a half months in a coma. After being discharged from the hospital, Peter started experiencing loss of hearing until he was officially declared deaf.
The following year, Peter returned to his former school to continue his education but faced major challenges in studying and relating with other children due to his
predicament. He struggled whenever he was forced to speak and was separated from classmates offering help for difficult assignments. He relied on revising written notes because he usually could not hear the teacher during class time.
When Peter reached primary seven, his parents transferred him to a school for the deaf where he learnt sign language that enabled him excel in his Primary Leaving Examinations. He later joined a Special Needs Secondary School to study O-level excelling highly again. Unfortunately, there were no special needs colleges or universities enrolling PwDs at the time which hampered his desire to continue with higher education.
Due to this challenge, Peter’s parents opted to send him to a vocational institute to pursue a carpentry course which he declined since it wasn’t his passion. After four years, Peter had the opportunity to enroll for A-Level but had to repeat senior three so as to attain an acceptable result to pursue his desired combination. He then returned to Ngora High School (Hearing School) to sit for his UCE exams assisted by interpreters in the learning process. The UCE results were released two years later and Peter had excelled again.
In order to raise money to return to school for A-Level, Peter started doing casual jobs such as digging, splitting firewood, selling water in hotels and fishing. After raising a sufficient amount, he relocated to Kampala and joined Wakiso Secondary School for the Deaf for Senior Five topping the class that very term. Despite his good fortune, Peter’s father passed on that year.
As a determined student, Peter focused on his studies and excelled in the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) earning himself a scholarship to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree at Kyambogo University. After graduation, the job search was a cumbersome ordeal causing Peter to settle as a volunteer at Seeta Church of Uganda Primary School working as a deaf lesson guide to make ends meet.
As luck would have it, Peter joined a group of job seekers with disabilities under Light for the World (LFW). There was a job advertisement circulated by LFW for a Human Resource intern at Solar Now Service (U) Ltd. Peter applied for the position and was shortlisted for an interview. During the interview, the soft skills training sessions conducted by LFW came in handy to enable Peter answer the questions confidently. He excelled and was enrolled for a training where he mastered the functionalities of the computer and how to use HRMIS. Seven years later, he was promoted to Human Resource Assistant on a permanent contract that was unfortunately terminated due to redundancy accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and later on the project was closed.
The end of the project rendered Peter jobless until he attended a training session on employability of job seekers with disabilities facilitated by Aldelia. At the workshop, he gave an excellent speech that impressed one of the facilitators and they built a professional relationship communicating regularly on available job opportunities. Finally, a vacancy for a temporary freelance recruitment consultant at Aldelia Global Manpower opened up which Peter applied for and was recruited. The initial agreement with Aldelia was for three months but then it was extended until Peter was offered a permanent contract as Global Recruitment Consultant!
Peter remains grateful to the team at Aldelia for accommodating him despite the language barrier and personal differences. He greatly appreciates the entire staff of LFW and former staff of Solar Now Service (U) Ltd HR Department for their kindness that was key to unlock the hidden abilities to enable him achieve his dreams. He stays committed to offering his best and thriving in his new role.
As FUE, we applaud Employers and our partners that are taking deliberate efforts to recruit, retain and train PwDs. We believe there is a lot of untapped potential that needs to be explored to enhance sustainable development and improve livelihoods. Its key for everyone to remember the old adage, ‘Disability is Not Inability’.
To join UBDN, contact Henry Sabah, the FUE Disability Focal Person, firstname.lastname@example.org
FUE STAFF COMMENTARY
SERVANT LEADERSHIP AT THE WORKPLACE
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more then you are a leader”, says John Quincy Adams, a motivational expert. Relatedly, according to Albert Schweitzer, a great philosopher and theologian, a good example is not just the main thing in influencing others, but it is the only thing.
Successful leaders in any workplace have a genuine desire to serve and influence others for stronger workplace cultures and productivity. Through their actions, they influence positively employees’ attitude, satisfaction and performance, and translate the organization vision into reality. According to Tony Hsieh, a management expert, the best leaders are servant leaders that is, leaders who serve the people and teams they lead.
Servant leadership approach has of recent gained currency at workplace as companies look to flatten their organizations, and empower employees and teams to make decisions in an effort to keep up with a fast-moving business environment.
According to Aida Gomez (2022), servant leadership is a leadership style based on the idea that leaders prioritize serving the greater good. Leaders with this style of leadership serve their team and organization first without prioritizing their own objectives.
In other words, servant leadership is a management style in which you focus on your team’s growth and well-being by putting their needs first. The idea behind this style of leadership is that instead of employees serving the leader, the leader serves the employees as a mentor, role model, coach and ladders builder for others to climb besides setting the tone for the organization culture.
Setting “tone at the top” is a phrase used to describe how leadership in an organisation create an environment that fosters ethical and responsible business behavior. While leaders communicate the organization vision, mission, core values and commitment to ethical behavior, what really drives the organization culture and resonates with employees is what they see and hear every day from their supervisors. (Protiviti Inc. 2023). When you lead by example, you do not just push the team and subordinates towards excellence but rather you actively demonstrate that excellence (Maggie Wooll, 2021).
Having a serve first mindset in whatever one does; building trust among subordinates by always being committed, reliable and available; living your values at work to inspire others; listening to others to understand them; and being someone who knows that it’s important to add value to others; are some of the traits of a servant leader (Art Barter, 2022).
Servant leadership therefore is important in business because it creates a work environment in which employees at all levels of the organization feel respected, appreciated and valued. Employee satisfaction and collaboration are important concepts in servant leadership. According to research, businesses that follow a servant leadership philosophy tend to have stronger work cultures with high employee morale, commitment and productivity.
A good leader knows that when their team members feel personally and professionally fulfilled, they produce high-quality work more efficiently and productively. It is not always about one being in a highly influential position to practice servant leadership, but any leader at any level can apply servant leadership. Indeed, servant leadership has a huge impact on employee well-being and engagement.
Servant leadership is a transformational leadership style. It takes some practice for one to become a capable and effective servant leader by building strong communication skills, improving on listening skills, learning to use personal influence for good, developing empathy, working on personal self-awareness, keeping the organization’s goals in mind, and learning to develop others holistically.
Therefore, servant leadership propels organisational success. What we ought to do as leaders is to inspire and guide the teams and individuals towards a decision that makes sense with the company’s vision in mind. Listening to their feedback and encouraging their dreams are some of the most important things to do in this endevour. You never know where your great idea will come from. So, empower everyone up and down the corporate ladder to contribute and innovate. As Germany Kent counsels, “Let your light shine as an inspiration to humanity and be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.”
By Patrick Ajuna,
Policy and Research Officer
RECEPTION BLOCK FUNDRAISING DRIVE
Since the resolution of the FUE Governing Council to engage all members in the construction of the FUE Reception Block for the FUE Head Offices in Kiwanga-Namanve, we have received overwhelming support from various Employers.
We encourage all members that haven’t contributed to the building project to join this noble cause. The amount required to complete this project is One Hundred Fifteen Million Uganda Shillings Only (UGX. 115,000,000).
If you would like to participate in this project, kindly contact email@example.com | 0392 777 410.
We look forward to your positive response.
FUE AGM REPORT ADVERTS
The FUE-AGM Magazine is an exclusive and top-notch publication highlighting FUE workstreams and activities distributed to a wide local and international audience.
Employers are encouraged to embrace the extraordinary opportunity to advertise in the FUE-AGM Magazine at affordable rates!
For advert placement, contact Henry Sabah, firstname.lastname@example.org