Employers warned as Minimum Wages law comes into effect
No Ugandan should work and earn below UGX130,000, the Minimum Wages Bill, 2015 that has been passed into law.
The law serves to provide for the determination of a minimum wage based on the different sectors of the economy. The law which has been in the pipeline for several years was sponsored by workers’ MP Arinaitwe Rwakajara.
Even with the minimum wage at 130,000 Shillings, different sectors will have to sit with line ministers and determine their wages. But, any employee that pays their employees below the set minimum wages, face three years in jail or pay a fine of UGX10m.
Any person who obstructs an authorized officer from carrying out his or her duty, the bill sets a fine of 480,000 Shillings and a jail term of 12 months or both on conviction. The bill was moved to repeal the Minimum Wages Advisory Board Act which doesn't provide for an employee-employer led, and a sectoral based minimum wage determination.
The new law further provides for the establishment of a Minimum Wages Advisory Board, appointed by the Minister of Labour in consultation with the Public Service Commission and approved by Cabinet.
The advisory board will comprise representatives from the Ministries of Labour and Finance, National Planning Authority, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the Federation of Uganda Employers, National Organisation of Trade Unions, the Central Organisation of Free Trade Unions and any other umbrella trade Union that may be registered under the Labour Unions Act, and non-unionized workers.
The board will also recommend the minimum rates of wages, minimum overtime rates of wages, the minimum holiday with pay to be paid to employees or persons undertaking internship in relation to an hour, day, week, month or other period; the normal hours of work on any day or in any week and the conditions of work to be observed either generally or for any particular work by the employers in respect of all or any of such employees.