Affected. Casual workers at Lukaya Rice Farm in Kalungu District attend a meeting on March 28. The company has since laid off several casual workers due to the Covid-19 impact.
As a result, he said, some employers have resorted to instituting employee-cost reduction measures, including pay-cuts and termination.
He also warned those sectors that are not badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic such as manufacturing, food processing and others not to use the excuse of the pandemic to arbitrarily cut staff wages or lay off workers.
Government and employers, together with representatives of workers, have agreed on a number of measures to stop arbitrary termination of employment as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to stifle the country’s economic life.
Already, thousands of workers have been rendered redundant as companies and organisations struggle to stay afloat because of dwindling businesses.
The hotel industry, tourism, transport and flower exporters are among the most affected, where thousands of workers have been laid off as companies downsize staffing.
However, other businesses such as factories producing soap, sanitisers, toilet tissues and face masks and other personal protective equipment, are reportedly experiencing growth because their products are used in the prevention measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Frank Tumwebaze, the minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, while addressing a press conference at the government-run Uganda Media Centre yesterday, said the Covid-19 pandemic is a temporary occurrence and that both employers and employees should be patient during this period.
“Employers are encouraged/advised to the extent possible, not to terminate employment. In addition, termination of employees will occasion more costs to employers in form of payment of terminal benefits, for instance, payment in lieu of notice, compensation for leave days not taken and severance packages, among others,” Mr Tumwebaze said.
He said termination of employment should only be taken as the last resort after all the available softer options have been exhausted.