Women Legislators Ask President Museveni To Assent To Employment Amendments Bill 2019
Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) together with Platform for Labour Action has asked president Museveni to sign the Employment Amendment Bill 2019 which will compel all places of work to create venues for breastfeeding rooms for working mothers.
Among other issues, the Bill aims at providing for the protection of breastfeeding mothers who are in employment. The legislation requires employers to put in place policies and facilities for breastfeeding mothers and prohibits employment of persons as casual employees for more than three months with the same employer.
Lydia Bwite, the programs officer for Platform for labor Action says, with the law in place, women will be given ample time to breastfeed their children at places of work.
The outgoing Lugazi Municipality MP Isaac Mulindwa said this Act will also protect casual, domestic, and immigrant workers who have been marginalized in the last 15 years by the old law -the Employment Act 2006.
Amoru district Woman MP, also Secretary-General (UWOPA) Lucy Akello, says she is still advocating for an amendment to increase paternity leave for men from three days to at least 15 days so that they can also take care of the baby at the time of delivery. The Chairperson for Domestic Workers Association (DWA), Hanifa Katwesigye, also expressed joy for the passing of the Employment Bill 2019 saying it will give the domestic workers a platform to fight for their rights.
The bill which was passed last week now waits for the president’s assent to become a law. The object to the Bill is to amend the Employment Act 2006 to operationalize the provisions of Article 40 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda to all categories of workers in Uganda.
The Bill specifically makes provision for the regulation of employment of domestic workers and casual employees in Uganda so as to improve their working conditions; to provide for compulsory registration and licensing of recruitment agencies for domestic workers and non-manual laborers; to provide for an explicit formula for calculation of severance pay, and to remove the conditions attached to payment of severance pay.
It also provides for the recruitment and employment of migrant workers in Uganda and Uganda Migrant Workers abroad, provides for the scope of sexual harassment in employment, and provides for the conversion of casual employment to term contract; to provide for the employment of volunteers.