Government demands contracts for casual labourers

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By STEPHEN OTAGE

KAMPALA. The Ministry of Labour has instructed employers of casual labourers to issue them contracts stipulating their terms of engagement so as to stop abusing their rights.
“Employees are entitled to days off, identification cards, annual leave, pension deductions so that they have something when they retire, they should have contracts spelling their terms of engagement,” Ms Peace Mutuzo, the State Minister in charge of gender and culture, said at the weekend. Ms Mutuuzo was officiating at the International Occupational Safety and Health Day celebrations in Kampala.
She said employers who do not adhere to such conditions should be reported to the ministry.

Warning
“They are denying government pay as you earn tax from the employees. You [labourers] should form labour unions where to raise such complaints if you fear victimisation. We are here to protect the workers because these are the people who make government run,” Ms Mutuuzo said.
The minister was responding to complaints raised by Mr Moses Mauku, a board member of the National Organisation of Trade Unions, who said there are many employers denying workers their benefits.

“You find a company employing workers from the CEO to the casual labourer without appointment letters, they sack people as they so wish, workers are denied leave, they are denied days off,” Mr Mauku said.
Mr Mauku said many employees are ignorant of their rights because most of the time, they think their employers are doing them a favour to employ them.

On safety

Mr Herbert Kanyali, the Umeme health safety and environment officer, said all work places must have occupational safety and health programmes to protect workers.

“There should be monthly meetings between employees and employers to identify the potential sources of danger and address them that is why companies provide employees with protective gear and equipment,” he said.
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