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ISSUE 50 | MARCH 2023
AN OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE FEDERATION OF UGANDA EMPLOYERS
THE VOICE OF EMPLOYERS
THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
Dear Valued Member,
‘Accountability is a key concept in moving an organisation forward especially in a challenging business climate.’ Cindy Tucker.
Another year going strong in the service of Employers, the FUE 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) was successfully held this month in which our accomplishments, key workstreams and initiatives were shared with our membership community. As always, it was an honor to host Hon. Betty Amongi Akena, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development as Chief Guest whose continuous attendance and enthusiastic participation in FUE events is a clear indication of the cordial working relationship with the Government as tripartite partners to achieve decent work and economic growth.
FUE has tremendously increased in the delivery of high-quality services for instance business development consultancies have been conducted, Employers have been represented at the industrial court, the policy department has contributed to the development of the labour migration metadata handbook to ease free movement of labor through tripartite collaborations in addition to the strengthening of our visibility and influence through the new innovation of the ‘FUE Labour Markets Trends Podcast’. These accomplishments have been instrumental in enhancing labour productivity and business growth as organisations rebuild their entities following the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors. We strive to continue growing to achieve our strategic objectives which are to increase FUE’s financial sustainability, to increase membership growth and retention, to increase FUE’s visibility and influence and to deliver high quality services in serving Employers.
Watch the video below for key highlights during the AGM;
THE FUE 44TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The FUE 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) was organised on Friday 24th March 2023 at Hotel Africana from 8:00am (EAT). The AGM is hosted annually to provide detailed accountability on key work streams, achievements, project updates and FUE initiatives especially on labour productivity. Hon. Betty Amongi, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development graced the event as Guest of Honor. FUE members were in attendance in addition to representatives from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU).
FUE’s revenue for the financial year 2022 was over 3 billion shillings with a surplus of 173 million, a remarkable increment from 2 billion shillings accumulated in 2021, an excellent performance made possible through membership subscriptions and value addition programs pushing us a step closer in the right direction towards financial sustainability. The membership base grew by 30 new members due to the delivery of
high-quality services and member codes were generated for all Employers in lieu of FUE’s digitalisation strategy. The policy department was a key partner in reviewing the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022 presenting a position paper to address issues of severance pay, remote working, outsourcing clients in addition to sharing views on fair recruitment and decent work. As an Employers’ body, we further leveraged technology to increase FUE’s visibility and influence by introducing a podcast and digital interactive E-newsletter to share resourceful information to Employers on various employment issues, FUE events and trainings among others.
The first session of the AGM was a knowledge sharing period to equip Employers with insights on tax literacy, new applications and FUE’s strategy on sustainability. Mr. David Rusoke, the Manager Tax Literacy, URA emphasised the need to prepare proper records of transactions, developing timely declarations and remitting tax payments to boost economic growth. Our esteemed member, Smart Applications Ltd shared vital details on their latest invention, ’Smart Virtual Access’ that eases efficient service delivery through a mobile application. The FUE Finance, Human Resource and Administration Committee encouraged members to participate in the salary surveys and other related activities to increase the financial sustainability of the Federation.
Employers were commended for their continued support and loyalty to FUE over the years as well as the continuous delivery of high-quality services despite various challenges encountered in the world of work. The need to acquire digital skills and adapt new technology to compete favorably at global level was reiterated. Furthermore, business leaders were advised to participate in social dialogue, develop skills and ensure safety and health is a priority at the workplace to enhance maximum productivity.
Hon. Betty Amongi Akena, the Guest of Honor highlighted the need to develop good renumeration packages and uphold decent work standards. She assured Employers of the Government’s commitment to provide incentives for youth development programs to foster labour productivity. Hon. Amongi further advocated for a tripartite framework that enhances the coordination among the partners to influence policy formulation and decision making to ensure the development of favorable employment laws.
The outgoing FUE Governing Council members were recognised and awarded for their devoted service, guidance and commitment to the Federation. We wish them the best in future endeavors.
As this was an election year, we extend sincere congratulations to Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha and Ms. Annet Nakawunde Mulindwa for their re-election as Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the FUE Governing Council board as well as new board members; National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU), Uganda Christian University (UCU), Bioversity International, Brookside and UVRI-IAVI.
A vote of thanks to our valued sponsors Airtel, Cavendish University, Tata Motors, Kinyara, Pepsi, Exchloride, Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), Marasa Africa, National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) and Smart Applications for their generous contribution to ensure the AGM is a remarkable success.
We celebrate every Employer on the road to business elevation for their persistent hardwork and determination to excel beyond all limitations. We look forward to a fruitful year 2023 in our role as the premier voice of Employers on social and economic issues in Uganda.
If you missed the AGM, you can watch the proceedings below:
SUB-REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON PROMOTING DECENT WORK IN THE FORESTRY SECTOR
The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) participated in the tripartite sub-regional workshop on, ‘Promoting Decent Work in the Forestry Sector’. The three-day workshop was organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for tripartite partners such as representatives of governments, employers’ organisations and workers’ unions from five East African countries Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. Participants included ILO officials Ms. Alette Van Leur, Director Sector, ILO Geneva and Mr. Wellington Chibebe, Director, ILO Dar-es-salaam office for East Africa. The workshop was conducted from Tuesday 7th March to Thursday 9th March 2023 at Kibo Palace Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania.
The main objective of the workshop was to identify the essential opportunities and challenges for promoting decent work in the forestry sectors in the countries of the sub-region with a specific focus on regional policy on promoting decent work in reforestation. The deliberations in this tripartite workshop were complemented by field visits to witness various value chain activities in the forest sector resulting into the formulation of 10 building blocks for advancing decent and sustainable work in the forestry sector among the five respective countries. These include;
- Promoting decent jobs and sustainable enterprises for women, youth and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs)
- Advancing comprehensive social and labour protection such as living wages and appropriate working hours
- Enhancing skills development to address skills gaps and shortages in the forest sector
- Ensuring strong, effective labour administration and inspection systems
- Advocating for gender equality and non-discrimination for opportunities in the forest sector
- Adopting objective transition to environmental sustainability including reforestation and promotion of green jobs
- Conducting policy coherence, capacity building of tripartite constituents and awareness raising on the need for providing decent work
- Guaranteeing availability of up-to-date data and evidence-based research in the forest sector
- Upholding the international labour standards, fundamental principles, rights at work and legal frameworks
- Effective social dialogue in all its forms including freedom of association and collective bargaining
Decent work in all sectors of the economy is attainable through collaborations and collective action by tripartite partners and other key stakeholders. FUE remains committed to equipping Employers with necessary skills and support to enhance sustainable development.
FUE CONDUCTS CHILD LABOUR DUE DILIGENCE TRAINING IN EASTERN UGANDA
The current ILO Global Estimates indicate that child labour remains a relevant and urgent issue affecting over 160 million children globally in all sectors. In Uganda, according to the National Labour Force Survey (2021) 6.2 million (40%) of the children aged 5-17 years were engaged in child labour (excluding household chores). The proportion of 5-17 year olds involved in child labour is higher among rural children (42.3%) compared to those living in urban areas (31.8%) which underscores the strong link between poverty and child labour.
FUE in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conducted a three-day child labour due diligence training from 20th to 22nd March 2023 at Mt. Elgon Hotel and Spa. There were over 32 Employers in attendance including local government officials. The main objective of the training was to strengthen the capacity of businesses to apply the ILO-IOE guidance tool in their child labour due diligence efforts.
The training package entailed an overview on child labour, dangers and mitigation strategies. The facilitators also shared the seven steps in due diligence processes that are policy, assessment, action, tracking performance, communication, stakeholder engagement, remedy and grievance mechanisms. Additionally, the ratification of the ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour in August 2020 was discussed to reflect the consensus that child labour no longer has a place in our societies.
Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for an acceleration of actions to eliminate child labour. The global partnership Alliance 8.7 brings together actors from all levels to collaborate, develop strategies, share knowledge and accelerate progress to achieve its goal by 2030.
FUE PARTICIPATES IN LDC 5 CONFERENCE
The world is in a race to deliver the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC 5) was an opportunity to accelerate sustainable development to enable 46 LDCs make progress on the road to prosperity. The LDC 5 conference was convened in Doha, Qatar from 5th to 9th March themed, ‘From Potential to Prosperity’ with over 9,000 participants in attendance including our Executive Director, Douglas Opio representing Employers, 46 heads of state, 200 ministers, the civil society, business leaders and youth among others.
The discussions centered on sharing initiatives and recommendations in a range of areas including international trade, regional intergration, harnessing the power of science, technology and innovation. Various leaders were reminded of their official development assistance commitments to allocate between 0.15% to 0.20% of their gross national income to support trade, investment and technology transfer.
At LDC 5, countries accepted concrete measures to implement the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA) which aims to renew and strengthen commitments between LDCs and their development partners marking a transformative turning point for the world’s most vulnerable countries. Additionally, the Doha Political Declaration was adopted in the plenary hall of the Qatar National Convention Centre. This declaration ushers in a new era of solidarity and enormous social benefits.
Employers operating in LDCs have access to vast untapped potential and natural resources that are significant to economic development. It’s time to rise and explore all possibilities within our reach to improve livelihoods, eradicate poverty and create a bright future for the next generation.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2023
On 8th March annually, the world commemorates International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally. Uganda joined the world to commemorate IWD 2023 on Wednesday 8th March 2023 in Kiruhura District under the theme, ‘DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’. The Guest of Honor at the event was H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of Uganda and other dignitaries including the Vice President H.E. Jessica Alupo, the UN Resident Coordinator, the Ambassador of France to Uganda, local leaders, members of the private sector and civil society among others.
The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) is passionate about gender equality at the workplace and conducts the Female Future Leadership Program (FFP) and Malkia courses to equip women with practical skills to advance their leadership journey under the FUE Women’s Executive Chapter which has led to more women receiving board positions and starting new businesses. In line with the theme, various trainings and sensitisations have been conducted to ensure women leaders acquire digital skills and adapt new technology that are imperative to succeed in the new world of work. At FUE, we also apply gender parity providing equal opportunities for promotions, decision making and professional development regardless of gender.
H.E. Museveni launched a $217million World Bank funded project for women entrepreneurs termed, ‘Generating Growth Opportunities and Productivity of Women Enterprises (GROW)’ to support women that need to grow their businesses, sustain self-employment and boost job creation. In a bid to equip Ugandan youth, women and graduates with practical skills, the President laid a foundation stone for the National Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation Centre expected to train over 1,200 people annually. Mr. Museveni additionally unveiled the Huawei DigiTruck project that will benefit over 10,000 Ugandans through digital skilling in three years especially women, girls and students.
Furthermore, President Museveni recognised over 60 women awarding them with national medals for their exemplary service to Uganda. The medals included Distinguished Order of the Nile Brand Commander, the Distinguished Order of the Crested Crane Second Class Branded Officer, the Nalubaale Medal, the National Independence Medal, Diamond Jubilee and the Honorary Police Medal.
Women leaders are strongly encouraged to adapt technology to continue work and business operations. We implore the government to provide incentives for girls to gain digital skills and develop innovations to foster socio-economic development in addition to creating leadership positions for women to participate in decision making processes at national level.