WORD FROM THE VICE CHAIRPERSON

Our Vice Chairperson shared some thoughts regarding the value of FUE membership and why every Employer in Uganda should be a member.

Watch here:

In This Issue

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THE FUE 43RD ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Our 43rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) was convened on Thursday 24th March 2022 at Golf Course Hotel Kampala from 8:00 am to 1:00pm (EAT). The AGM was attended by Hon. Hellen Asamo, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) for Persons with Disability (PwDs), Ms. Jackie Banya representing International Labour Organisation (ILO), FUE Governing Council members and representatives from FUE member organisations.

2021 was a bitter-sweet year for most Employers as we grappled with severe cases of COVID-19, untimely death and lockdowns coupled with recovery from the adverse effects of the pandemic to continue business operations. Employers had to adopt new methods of work and apply extensive use of digital technology to keep their organisations afloat. Despite the pandemic restrictions on jobs and businesses globally, we managed to register a 20% increase in membership subscription at the Federation.

In his speech, Our Chairperson Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha applauded the members for supporting the work of FUE through 2021 despite the unprecedented circumstances. He emphasised that the FUE Value Proposition is constantly revised to offer high quality services to Employers such as the Salary Survey, Leadership Trainings Series for CEOs and the Employer of the Year Award (EYA) among others. He further revealed FUE’s commitment to work with the Government to ensure the success of the Parish Development Model (PDM) to support young employers and increase our membership base.

She appreciated FUE’s participation in representing Employers’ interests during the amendment of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) bill that was assented into law and further encouraged all members to remit statutory taxes to counter high penalties issued for non-compliance. Hon. Asamo also pledged government’s commitment to support maximum productivity through policy development and skills development by equipping Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions to ensure employability and job creation as well as amending the Employment Act 2006 and Workers Compensation Act 2000 that’s in process right now.

We appreciate all our partners the ILO, Confederation of Norwegian Enterprises (NHO), Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), Danish Family Planning Association (DFPA), International Organisation of Employers (IOE), Dutch Employers Cooperation Program (DECP), German Agency for Industrial Action(GIZ), Government of Uganda, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), ADD International, Light for the World, Sight Savers, National Union of Disabled Partners of Uganda (NUDIPU) and Cheshire Services Uganda among others for their immense contribution to our growth and success in 2021.

Additionally, we extend a vote of thanks to our AGM sponsors Kinyara Sugar, Uganda Insurers Association (UIA), Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU), Afros and Mo, Jumia Uganda, Footsteps Furniture Limited, Century Bottling Company (Coca-Cola),

ADD International, Smart Applications and Crown Beverages. For making our AGM report colourful.

Click the image to view the FUE 2021 AGM REPORT

As an FUE member, your support and commitment to the work of the Federation is raising the Employers’ flag high. Together we are making our country a better place.

If you did not attend the AGM,

Click the video to watch the proceedings;

43RD AGM GALLERY

AGM Proceedings

AGM Networking and Socialising

AGM Sponsors

LAUNCH OF THE FUE PODCAST

The FUE Podcast was officially launched on Thursday 10th March 2022 under ‘The Labour Market Trends Podcast Series’. This podcast will breed discussions on various labour market developments to foster good employment practices.

Our Executive Director, Douglas Opio featured as guest speaker for the first episode of this informative series speaking on the theme, ‘Boosting Productivity in the Workplace’. This particular episode addressed aspects of employee engagement, employers’ responsibility and partnerships to enhance productivity levels at work.

To listen to the podcast, download the PodBean App for Android or iOS on Google Play Store.

Click the link below to listen in:

Stay tuned for subsequent episodes!

EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS TIP

In a 21st century world of work, it is expected that every employer or management should be in close touch or contact with the employees who are expected to deliver the intended results for every organisation to thrive. It is in most cases difficult for management to keep in touch with almost all their employees yet they have to drive the expected results and this is where a designated Staff Council is established and designated to bridge the gap and create linkage between itself and employees.

It is increasingly a recommended best practice to have in place a Staff Council or Committee to become a centered mouth-piece for all the employees in the organisation while management focuses on driving the intended performance to achieve the organisation goals and objectives.

To this end, below are some of the considerations of every staff council or committee in an organisation;

STAKEHOLDERS’ CONSULTATIVE MEETING ON THE NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE SCHEME BILL

On Thursday, March 10, 2022, the Ministry of Health organised a Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Bill, 2022 as regards the issues that are pertinent to the private sector/employers before the Bill is submitted to the cabinet and parliament for debate. The meeting took place at Fairway Hotel, Kampala.

The meeting was attended by officials from the Ministry of Health, the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Central Organisation of Free Trade Union (COFTU), Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), Office of the Solicitor General, Private Health Insurance Schemes, USAID, World Health Organisation (WHO), ENABEL, among others.

The objectives of this Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting were to;

The National Health Insurance Scheme Bill 2019 had been passed into NHIS Act, 2021 by the 10th Parliament but its (10th Parliament) term of office expired before the President assented to this NHIS Act.

According to Rule 235(1) of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure, a Bill, petition, or other business or a committee lapses with the term of Parliament. Rule 235(2) creates an exception that allows reinstatement of such business with the resolution of Parliament, but the reintroduced business (Bill) shall be treated as a fresh reference to the Committee, and such resolution (to reinstate the business) should be introduced 

during the second sitting of the first session of the new Parliament, among other conditions.

In view of the above, the NHIS Bill, 2019 and other Bills were returned to the respective ministries for re-submission and amendment if necessary. It is against this background that the Ministry of Health has been engaging stakeholders in the process of drafting the NHIS Bill, 2022 which will later be submitted to cabinet and parliament for debate.

Besides, UMA submitted their position on the NHIS after the bill for the same had been passed by the 10th Parliament and this necessitated holding a stakeholders’ meeting to discuss the UMA proposals.

Some of the resolutions made from the various consultations by the Ministry of Health for inclusion in the NHIS Bill, 2022 include:

In addition to the above resolutions, WHO recommended that;

The next things to be done by the Ministry of Health before the NHIS Bill is tabled for debate include;

The NHIS Bill seeks to establish a legal framework for the establishment and operation of health insurance as a complementary mechanism for financing health care and for increasing equitable access to quality health services in Uganda.

PRESIDENT EMPHASISES WOMEN EMPOWERMENT FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH

On 8th March 2022, Uganda joined the rest of the world to commemorate International Women’s Day at the Kololo Independence Grounds. This year’s theme was ‘Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow’ aimed at raising awareness about the stereotypes and biases against women. H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was the chief guest at the event attended by the First Lady Janet Museveni, Vice President, Ministers and representatives of UN agencies among other dignitaries.

During his speech, President Museveni emphasised that the newly launched Parish Development Model (PDM) will be an important incentive to advance socio-economic development and women empowerment as we strive to make Uganda a middle-income society. The model seeks to provide One Million Uganda Shillings for every Ugandan to fund agricultural projects such as fish farming, food crops, coffee, poultry and piggery. He revealed that as we mark 60 years of independence this year we have achieved so much in eliminating illiteracy, poverty and discrimination among women and girls. Mr. Museveni further encouraged women to take up leadership positions to advocate for their rights in the political, social and economic spheres.

At the event, 32 individuals were awarded with medals, 27 got the golden jubilee medal, three received the long service medal in police and two received honorary medals for supporting police activities.

We appreciate and recognise the resilience and commitment of every woman towards sustainable development. It is time to break the bias to ensure women are given the opportunity to achieve their potential.

TRAINING ON FINANCE FOR NON-FINANCE MANAGERS

According to Avery and Bergsteiner, 2011, executives at all levels need to develop a good appreciation of basic components of finance, fundamentals of business valuation and creation of shareholder value. On 15th and 16th March, we organized a two-day training at our head office in Kiwanga-Namanve to equip Employers with skills to effectively manage the daily financial aspects of their organizations. Participants included CEOs, Finance Managers, Non-Finance Managers, General Managers and Project Managers among others.

The training provided insights on the impact of individual decisions on the organizational budget, company performance and other corporate activities. Additionally, facilitators shared valuable information on analyzing financial statements, establishing and running a successful SACCO as well as defining key financial terms such as profit, loss, balance sheets and cash flow.

Every Employer needs an understanding of financial concepts to make informed critical decisions for business growth. A good financial strategy is instrumental to improve resource allocation and investment opportunities.

If you missed this training, kindly contact our Training Manager, Yusuf Nsubuga on yusuf.nsubuga@fuemployers.org or +256 783 777 110 | +256 702 780 515 for a in-house session.

FUE HOSTS CHILD LABOUR WORKSHOPS

On 7th March 2022, FUE organised an introductory meeting to discuss the ACCEL-Africa Project (2021/2022). Participants included key district officials, employers, the private sector, political leaders and the media. The main objective of the meeting was to present the findings and recommendations of the child labour survey conducted in Kikuube district in tea supply chains in August 2021.

During the survey, it was discovered that there was a 53% increase in child labour in the tea and coffee supply chains in Hoima/Kikuube districts because parents were recruiting children as workers in these plantations.
The following recommendations were developed to enhance the effectiveness of the legal and regulatory framework against child labor after the survey findings;

Furthermore, we held an awareness meeting for out growers of McLeod Russel Uganda Limited in four (4) sub-counties in Kikuube district from the 9th to 12th March 2022. The meeting attracted over 120 participants including employers, farmers, private sector, political leaders and the media. The main aim of the meeting was to sensitise these stakeholders on child labour and child labour laws as well as policies and strategies for eliminating child labour in supply chains. During the sensitisation, we provided insights on cross-industry initiatives to ensure elimination of child labour in the employment sector.

The fight to end child labour in Uganda is dependent on collective efforts from all stakeholders to protect the future workforce of this nation. Let’s work together to preserve all children from exploitation and the adverse effects of child labour.

FUE STAFF COMMENTARY

NOTU-FUE Developing a model Collective Bargaining Agreement

The National Organisation of Trade Union (NOTU) and the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) commenced the process of developing a Model Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in line with the International Labour Standards Convention C-144, and the Bipartite Industrial Relations Charter that was signed by the fore mentioned organisations together with the Central Organisation of Free Trade Union (COFTU) in 2020, where all the three parties committed to promoting effective tripartism, social dialogue, good governance, a stable environment for free enterprise and prosperity for all.

Similarly, in the National Tripartite Charter on Labour Relations that the above three parties signed with the Government of Uganda in 2013, all the parties committed to, among others, promote, respect and protect the rights of workers as enshrined in article 2, 20, 29 and 40 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda; and respect democratic principles, settle all differences, disputes and grievances by mutual negotiation, conciliation and voluntary arbitration in accordance with the laid down machinery.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Collective Bargaining is a fundamental right, which is rooted in its constitution and reaffirmed as such in the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at work.
In addition, Collective Bargaining is part of the social dialogue – one of the three priority areas for action as per the ILO’s 2019 Future of Work Declaration and the agenda for 2022-2023 to achieving decent work through a human centred recovery programme from the pandemic.

Whereas the government has put in place a number of labour laws and policies, and desires that such legislations are implemented in their true sense, and can enforce them in case either party violates these legislations, an emicable agreement can be reached between the employer and the employees for implementing the legislative provisions through collective bargaining.

The Government is also concerned with the process of collective bargaining because it is in the interest for the government, employers and workers to cooperate 

in establishing a conducive workplace atmosphere for employment creation and growth, enhancing productivity and business competitiveness through collaboration, consultation and negotiation based on mutual trust and understanding.

Collective Bargaining is a negotiated written labour agreement/ contract signed by both the employer and the labour union specifying wages, wage classification and conditions of work. It can be between an individual employer and the workers’ union or between workers’ unions belonging to the same industry bargaining through their federation (NOTU or COFTU) with the employers’ federation (FUE).

It is a means of joint decision-making on the terms and conditions of employment, and the rules that govern how the two sides (employers and workers) will jointly address workplace issues and resolve any disputes that may arise between them.

A Three-Day Workshop comprising of FUE and NOTU technical teams in the area of collective bargaining was held recently at Maria Flo Hotel in Masaka City. FUE delegation comprised of both the staff and one member (Uganda Tea Association). The main purpose of the workshop was to generate a Standard Collective Bargaining Agreement that would cover the general issues in the employment relations including during the pandemic or disaster situations.

Given that COVID-19 pandemic disorganized everything including the employment relations by turning the world of work upside-down, building the future we want through providing decent work can only happen when the right policies are put in place including providing the standard CBA, to guide the process of negotiations and discussion as regards the terms and conditions of employment and other issues that may arise at the workplace.

ILO has identified five significant dimensions which decent working time arrangement should advance. It should promote health and safety, working time arrangement should be family-friendly and improves workers’ work-life balance, should promote gender equality, advance the productivity and sustainability of 

enterprises; and offer workers a degree of choice and influence over their hours of work.

While the application of the fore mentioned five dimensions may vary substantially between countries, sectors and companies, the guiding principles can provide a basis for developing working time arrangements in collective agreements that can effectively balance workers’ needs and employers’ business requirements.

The standard guide CBA will ease the process of negotiations since it will provide the minimum standards on the terms and conditions of employment besides acting as a guide to companies that have not yet negotiated CBA.

When the drafting of this standard CBA is finalized, it will be presented to a wider group of stakeholders for validation, and to FUE and NOTU top leadership for approval and then to members (FUE and unions) for adoption.

Therefore, Collective bargaining is the best remedial measure for promoting and maintaining the cordial labour relations at workplace. It promotes industrial peace and workers’ motivation for hard work and productivity leading to increased production, economic growth and development. According to Sobeck (2014), reasonable wages and better conditions of employment raises productivity because they motivate labour to produce more productively. Increase in workers productivity raises the competitiveness of organizations and economies, which ultimately leads to increase in wages (McDonald, 2012).

By Patrick Ajuna
Policy and Research Officer

FUE REGIONAL HIGHLGHTS

In a bid to serve employers in the western region of Uganda, FUE has a regional office located in Kasese municipality on plot 52 Bwambale Henry road with one full-time staff.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the world severely in terms of quality of life, political, environmental, sustainable economic development, and stunted the global economy. The Government of Uganda instituted a second COVID-19 lockdown in June 2021 to contain the negative health impact of the second wave of the pandemic. The lockdown adversely affected the economy of the

country, and brought some businesses’ to a standstill. The situation was challenging for the employers and employees forcing them to adapt to the new normal – the “Work from Home” culture in order to remain viable. This new normal has also taken effect in the Western Region.

FUE has continued to grow its capacity to offer high quality services to its members in the region through actively engaging the government and other stakeholders and at the same time delivering important information much needed by its employers in the region on a weekly basis. For instance; FUE-Employers guide on COVID-19, employment law compliance tips, safety and health practices, policy briefs (NSSF & NHIS, 2021/2022 National Budget Analysis), servicing its members and encouraging them to observe the SOPs and to continue working hard. It must be noted that members’ in the region appreciate the FUE E-Newsletters an effective tool for reception of information for workplace growth.

A word of appreciation to FUE members in the western region for the constructive engagements’, co-operation and resilience exhibited during the hardest period that came with the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic. Let us remain focused and continue the good working relations.

By Kedress Muhindo
Western Region Coordinator

ANNUAL HOLI CELEBRATIONS

On Friday 18 March, our Executive Director joined other dignitaries in the country including the first Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda Hon. Rebecca Kadaga for the Annual Holi Celebrations at the Indian High Commission.

Following the full re-opening of the economy, families, friends and colleagues can now gather physically to make memories, the Holi event is one of such events. Lots of networking and fun with colour transpired.

The Indian Community in Uganda has contributed greatly to the economy and we welcome them as Employers.

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