WORD FROM THE FUE CHAIPERSON

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In This Issue

THE FUE-CEO BREAKFAST MEETING

The FUE-CEO Breakfast Meeting was convened on 20th May 2022 at the Kampala Serena Hotel under the theme, ‘Aligning Business Practices with Decent Work for Job Creation’. These meetings are organised to foster networking, learning and sharing of best practices among member CEOs to boost their leadership capacity.

We are arrived at this theme basing on recent research that shows decent work has a major impact on the health of the people in the jobs. When the employer provides the bare minimum required of a job, workers feel motivated. Happy and healthy employees are more likely to be productive and perform better at work. Increase in workers productivity raises competitiveness of organizations and economies leading to economic growth and job creation.
The ILO priorities and agenda for 2022-2023 is achieving decent work through a human-centred recovery programme from the pandemic. In addition, increasing the employees’ productivity is one of the most critical goals of organizations.

Ms. Annet Nakawunde, our Vice-Chairperson officially opened the meeting, in her opening remarks she advised Employers to uphold decent work standards through ensuring inclusion and diversity in workplaces. She also encouraged training, proper communication, employee motivation initiatives and a favorable work environment to guarantee maximum productivity.

The keynote address was delivered by Ms. Caroline Tusingirwe Egesa, the Board Secretary at Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) who highlighted the need for employers to initiate professional development opportunities, advance social protection and develop strategies for decent work. Ms. Egesa further emphasised a strong work culture as well as proper understanding of the vision, goals and mission of the organisation by all staff to align business practices.

Additionally, we held a panel discussion comprised of Mr. Pepe Minambo, the CEO Motivation Hub, Mr. Rajesh Chaplot, CEO Graphics Systems Ltd, Ms. Margaret Kisitu, CEO Afros and Mo and Prof. Florence Muranga, the Director General, Banana Industrial Research Development Centre (BIRDC). These seasoned business professionals recommended building work structures, good leadership, favorable work policies, equal opportunities, business strategy, investment in employee well-being, exemplary attitudes towards work and an open work culture as key tenets to attain decent work within the workplace.

Building thriving workplaces benefits everyone – employers, employees, and their families alike. However, to build a thriving work environment, you first need the basics. Therefore, it is imperative that organizations provide decent work to their employees. Not only is it the right thing to do but it is a prerequisite for business to survive and thrive.

As the Federation, we will continue to encourage concerted efforts of Employers through engagements such as the CEO Breakfast Meeting to see Employers achieve organizational success.

EMPLOYERS’ ADVISORY NOTE

In this edition of the Employers’ Advisory Note, FUE Executive Assistant, Resty Nambalirwa, highlights details on the roles of an Executive Assistant in an organisation.

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An Executive Assistant is a professional responsible for managing the schedules and communications of key executives in their company. He or She prioritizes the official emails, phone calls, arranges meetings and business events.

They also provide high-level administrative support to executives by conducting clerical work. However, executive assistants have additional duties and higher levels of responsibilities to execute.

An Executive Assistant should have;

  • Organisation skills to ably handle numerous tasks and information
  • Time management skills to ensure work is delivered at appointed times for effective business.
  • Communication skills to speak and write professionally to executives, business partners and high-level clients.
  • Data Entry and Record-keeping skills to safeguard critical information.
  • Interpersonal skills to interact with internal and external stakeholders
  • They have vast knowledge on the top tactics for improving business productivity and are able to implement strategies that produce results
  • They add value by easing the work burden on company executives
  • They increase collaboration opportunities that are key to improve work relations
  • They provide solutions and suggest areas of improvement to everyday work challenges
  • Enhance partnership opportunities between executives and other organisations in different sectors to achieve goals together in line with SDG 8-Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
  • Identify various needs of the community around the workplace and offer solutions to mitigate them in line with SDG 6-Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
  • Promote health and safety in the workplace to minimise occupational hazards and advance organizational growth in line with SDG 3-Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages
  • Advocate for equal opportunities for women to thrive in the workplace in line with SDG 5-Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Avail opportunities for the executive assistant to contribute to your organisation brand because they add another level of professionalism.
  • Provide exclusive access to official contacts such as the official phone number and email address to ease smooth flow of communication within the organisation
  • Delegate the Executive Assistant to handle correspondence, tasks, travel plans, reservations and scheduling
  • Support and appreciate their work because they are the backbone of an organization as Issie Lapowski says, “They know everything about an executive. It’s not just administrative work”.

INTERNATIONAL LABOUR DAY 2022

On 1st May 2022, Uganda joined the world to commemorate International Labour Day at the Kololo Independence Grounds. The celebration was under the theme ‘Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19, Enhancing Productive Employment for Improved Livelihoods through Parish Development Model (PDM)’. H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was Chief Guest with other dignitaries as well as our Chairperson Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha who represented Employers.

During his address, Mr. Museveni appreciated the Ugandan workforce for growing the economy from 14 trillion shillings in 1986 to 148 trillion shillings in 2022. He emphasised that the PDM will unlock over 50 million jobs in the medium and long term for the abundant untapped potential especially among 53% of Ugandan households dependent on subsistence agriculture for their livelihood. He also instructed Ugandans to stay patriotic, elect good leaders and invest in local products and services to build a robust economy.

Our Chairperson Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha appreciated the government for setting up socio-economic transformation initiatives such as the PDM. He pledged FUE’s support in amplifying the gains of this strategy to enhance job creation and improve livelihoods.

At the event, President Museveni recognised and awarded 50 gallant Ugandans who have been instrumental to economic growth. 

He specifically applauded National Social Security Fund (NSSF) for good governance and transformation of the workers’ fund because NSSF assets have grown over 7 times or by 631% from just 2.1 trillion shillings in 2010 to 15.6 trillion shillings in 2021 whereas member contributions have grown from 388.1 billion to 1.4 trillion shillings.

Employers have played a significant role through their hard work and diligence to advance sustainable development despite the challenging times. We appreciate your efforts and commitment to economic growth.

THE UGANDA-TURKIYE TRADE, INDUSTRY AND TOURISM SUMMIT

According to statistics, the trade volume between Uganda and Turkey increased to 71 million in 2021 from 69 million in 2020. The Uganda-Turkiye Investment, Trade, Industry and Tourism Summit themed ‘Accelerating Investment, Trade, Industry and Tourism between Uganda and Turkey in a Post-COVID Era’ was held at Speke Resort Munyonyo on 12th and 13th May 2022. H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was the Guest of Honor with a number of ministers, Ugandan entrepreneurs, Turkish Deputy Minister of Trade, Turkish Ambassador to Uganda and investors among others. We were privileged to participate and represent Employers at the summit.

The summit facilitated investment deals owing to the success stories from already existing Turkish Investors.

In his speech, President Museveni articulated four principles that were adopted to develop the business community specifically Patriotism, Pan-Africanism, Socio-Economic Transformation and Democracy. He revealed that these principles have been realized through improved education services, commercialising agriculture and infrastructural development to accelerate economic growth. Mr. Museveni further implored the Turkish delegation to partner with Uganda to ensure constant production of goods and services with a ready market within the East African Community.

In addition, Hon. Evelyn Anite, State Minister of Privatisation and Investment handed over the Nakasongola Industrial park to the Turkish investors on behalf of the government to ensure export promotion and import substitution in the grain milling, fruit processing, animal feeds, iron ore, real estate and textile sectors.

Uganda and Turkey have vast potential to collaborate on business and trade opportunities in agriculture, energy, tourism, industry and transport among others. This will ensure value-added results and benchmarking opportunities to advance economic growth and promote investment.

THE ILO GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON ELIMINATION OF CHILD LABOUR

The 5th Global Conference on Elimination of Child Labour was held from 15th to 20th May in Durban, South Africa at the International Convention Centre (ICC). The conference attracted physical and virtual delegates from governments, trade unions, the private sector, regional and international organisations, academia, youth and children from all five ILO regions to discuss best practices, identify gaps and urgent measures to eliminate child labour. It’s is projected that by the end of 2022 8.9 million children will be forced into child labour. Hence the need for immediately action to combat all forms of child labour globally. The President of South Africa H.E Cyril Ramaphosa graced the conference and in his address he emphasized that, no civilization, no country and no economy can consider itself to be at the forefront of progress if its success and riches have been built on the backs of children and that there should be no excuse in exploiting children into child labour. Our Executive Director, Mr. Douglas Opio represented Employers and participated in the event proceedings.

At the conference, Mr. Opio proposed solutions to ending child labour in supply chains such as training employers, developing guidelines, supporting self-regulation and improving workplace policies. He also advocated for standardization of data to be used at national and regional level to ease situation analysis.

The delegates agreed to the Durban Call to Action which includes commitments in six different areas;

  • Make decent work a reality for adults and youth above the minimum age for work by accelerating multi-stakeholder efforts to eliminate child labour
  • End child labour in agriculture
  • Strengthen the prevention and elimination of child labour in its worst forms and the protection of survivors through data-driven and survivor-informed policy and programmatic responses
  • Realise children’s right to education and ensuring universal access to free, compulsory, quality, equitable as well as inclusive education and training
  • Achieve universal access to social protection
  • Increase financing and international cooperation for the elimination of child and forced labour.

There is a need for urgent action to end child labour in Africa in order to preserve the future workforce. As Employers, we need to rise and fight against child labour in all its forms.

THE EMPLOYER HANDBOOK SURVEY REPORT LAUNCH

The Employer Handbook Survey Report was officially launched on Tuesday 24th May 2022. We developed the report in partnership with BrighterMonday Uganda (BMUG) to explore how to effectively assess, develop and train new talent with responses from over 600 employers. The main purpose of this handbook will be to guide Employers with best practices in a bid to develop tailored approaches to improve employee growth, engagement, retention, productivity and organisational success.

The Survey Report presents the following key findings;

  • Employers should prioritise finding the right talent based on merit through effective skills assessment methods to eliminate bias during hiring.
  • Streamlining induction and onboarding is vital in setting new hires up for success in the first three to six months to ensure they envision their new role and set clear expectations
  • Employee development should be a continuous process.
  • People are your most valuable asset therefore training new hires should be a fundamental ongoing long-term investment embedded in the company culture.
  • Avoid rigid strategies but be pragmatic in prioritising diversification through ongoing research and staying updated with relevant industry trends.
  • Seeking expert advice from industry thought leaders to elevate your new talent’s overall professional progress by maximising product solutions such as assessment tools.

We appreciate all Employers for their participation in this survey to ensure the job recruitment process becomes an effortless journey.

Click the link below to read the Employer Handbook Survey Report:

STAKEHOLDERS CONSULTATIVE MEETING ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF TVET FINANCING FRAMEWORK

On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, the Ministry of Education and Sports through the Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Secretariat organized a Consultative Meeting of key stakeholders to gather ideas on the development of the TVET Financing Framework as part of the major reforms in the TVET Policy which seeks to put in place an efficient and sustainable TVET financing in Uganda.

The on-going reforms in the TVET sector aims at ensuring that the quality of skills acquired by the TVET graduates is responsive to the demands of employers both in private and public sector domains.

The meeting was attended by officials from the Ministry of Education and Sports, Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA), the Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers (UIPE), the media, among others. It was held at Ntinda Vocational Training Institute, Kampala.

According to the new TVET Policy of 2019, there is a paradigm shift and reforms in the TVET system. The policy provides for the creation of the employers-led TVET system that emphasizes a flexible, workplace-oriented environment for training delivery, skills and competence-based training in line with the labour demands by employers rather than the general education system which is certificates-based.

The proposed sources of TVET Financing include:

  • Government from Consolidated Fund
  • Employers/enterprise/company
  • Donor assistance in form of loans and grants
  • Students’ fees
  • Industrial/internship training TVET Fund and Training Levy
  • Training providers/ institutions through income-generating projects.
  • A tax levy of 0.02% of the gross income per year on every company/enterprise or business that does not allow in-house skills training and internship.

Besides, the policy shifts TVET management from the government to the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and provides for the creation of the Employer-led TVET Council of nine (9) members, six of whom (66%) shall be employers. The composition will be as follows;

  • Chairperson of the TVET Council – a reputable employer appointed by the Minister of Education and Sports.
  • Three (3) members (employers) representing priority sectors nominated by Sector Skills Councils.
  • One (1) member representing workers nominated by Workers’ Federation.
  • One (1) member representing Ministry of Education and Sports nominated by the Permanent Secretary.
  • One (1) member representing Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development nominated by the Permanent Secretary.
  • One (1) member representing Health Private Sector Employers nominated by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health.
  • Ex-officio member – Executive Director of TVET Secretariat who is also secretary to the council.

What is yet to be decided is; How shall employers make TVET contribution? How can it be enforced and made possible? And what other possible sources can be considered to widen the TVET Fund Contribution?

Once the TVET Financing Framework is finalized, it will be part of the attachments to the TVET Bill that will soon be presented to parliament for debate into the TVET Act.

REGIONAL POLICY DIALOGUE ON INFORMAL ECONOMY IN AFRICA: THE WAY FORWARD

On Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th May, 2022, the Federation of Uganda Employers was represented at the Regional Policy Dialogue on Informal Economy in Africa which was organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) together with the African Union Commission and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to discuss the increasing importance of the informal economy in Africa, understand the gaps between current programmatic approaches and needs on the ground, and build collective intelligence on more effective policy responses and solutions to trigger inclusive, resilient, sustainable and prosperous recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

It was part of a series of dialogues that bring together key stakeholders, with a focus on informal actors to harness collective learning, intelligence and advice on needed policy action to promote decent work among the informal sector workers and transition to formality.

The Regional Policy Dialogue was attended by officials from ILO, UNDP, African Union Commission, Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) secretariat, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

It was a hybrid event where attendance was both in-person and online, and representation (at the Dialogue) was on a tripartite basis – representatives of governments, employers’ organisations and workers’ unions. Besides, Civil Society Organisations like SNV of Zambia, African Empowerment of Women and Girls in Senegal, and Women’s Finance House of Botswana were represented. The dialogue was held at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

The objective of the policy dialogue was to bring together informal economy actors, representatives from governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations as well as development partners to identify challenges, share good practices and learn from each other’s perspectives, including on fostering effective pathways to formality in Africa.

The issues affecting the informal economy in Africa generally were identified as: Lack of relevant legal framework to regulate businesses in informal economy; Limited access to resources like finance, technology and information; lack of recognition and visibility of the informal sector actors; absence of social protection and workers’ rights as businesses in the informal economy are characterized by harassment from the authority and inadequate occupational health and safety at work place; and lack of social security for the workers and their families.

Among the resolutions include the need to;

  • Sensitise the informal sector workers/ employers to register their business for government programmes and recognition as a pathway to formality.
  • Facilitate the creation of cooperative groups among the informal sector businesses to access finance.
  • Arrange for social dialogue between the informal economy workers with the government for decent working condition and access to legal working space.
  • Recognize informal sector businesses as key actors in development and be involved at policy level to plan for their members since it (informal economy) also has a critical role to play in the sustainable development.
  • Advocate for the amendment of the labour laws to accommodate workers in the informal economy for better recognition.
  • Create social protection schemes for the informal economy members to address the structural drivers of risk and building long-term resilience.

The informal economy poses a challenge for decent work as majority of the work in this sector is insecure, poorly paid and often unsafe yet, according to recent research, this informal economy accounts for 75% of the total employment in Uganda. Besides, about 85% of working women are employed in the informal economy, while 92% of the youth entering the workforce join the same informal economy.

Therefore, when the informal economy is facilitated into transition to formality, it would help to increase the country’s GDP, increase in the tax base and therefore revenue to the government for the provision of more social infrastructure that would improve the ease of doing business index for employers, creation of more decent jobs, including for women and the youth, and would increase FUE membership, among other benefits. This, therefore, calls for collective effort to support the process of the transition to formality by informal economy businesses.

FUE STUDY VISIT TO THE DANISH INDUSTRY HEAD QUARTERS

FUE represented as on of the partners at the Danish Industry Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) East Africa Partner Study visit from 8-12 May 2022.

The visit provided progress and areas for further collaboration among the SPA Partners. Key lessons in keeping the economy growth, openness, balance and prosperity in the face of global uncertainties that affect DI’s prominent members were provided.

Partners had the opportunity to learn Danish Best Practice within Waste Management and Renewable energy through initiatives done by State of Green and Plastindustrien whose initiatives target on attaining carbon neutral and circular economy targets.

In addition, DI East Africa partners had the opportunity to dialogue with the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation on the key initiatives undertaken through the DANIDA support and areas for further support.

Partners learnt initiatives undertaken on digitalisation, food sustainability and efficiency, gender mainstreaming and energy efficiency to be integrated into productive sectors.


Field visits to the Island of Samso exposed DI East Africa Partners to experience first-hand how a sustainable ecosystem can be created. The energy academy provided key lessons on communal ownership through PPP, GreenTransition and Climate Partnership.
Skilling and re-skilling of workers is important in increasing the workplace productivity and ensuring.

The study visit was concluded by discussions with the DI CEO Lars Sandah where DI East Africa Partners provided their reflection on the progress made through the DI support.

TRAINING ON APPLICABILITY AND CHALLENGES OF THE UGANDA EMPLOYMENT LAWS AND REGULATIONS

On a daily basis, Employers need to make important decisions that are regulated by several employment laws specifically the Employment Act, 2006 and the Employment Regulations, 2011 that govern employment relationships in Uganda. We organised a two-day training on the topic ‘Applicability and Challenges of the Uganda Employment Laws and Regulations’ held on Tuesday 17th nd Wednesday 18th May 2022 at our head offices in Kiwanga-Namanve. The main purpose of this training was to help member organisations appreciate employers’ and employees’ legal rights, obligations and understand how to comply with the relevant legislation.

During this training, participants received useful legal information such as identifying sources of contract terms, written particulars of employment, continuity of employment, categorising workers, termination of employment, applying the disciplinary code, minimising legal risks during dismissals and how the law deals with redundancy. The facilitators also shared valuable insights on the formalities of contract employment, employment status, rights and duties under the employment act, remedies to parties available under contract of employment and emerging issues in employment law.

Every employer needs to understand relevant legislation to enable decision-making and smooth business operations.

If you missed this training, contact Yusuf Nsubuga, our Training Manager on yusuf.nsubuga@fuemployers.org or +256 702 780 515 | +256 783 717 110.

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