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Uganda - Substantive requirements for dismissals

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - Uganda - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
  • If so requested by the employee, the reasons for termination may be indicated by the employer in the certificate of service which shall be delivered upon termination of the contract: art. 61 EA.

    In addition, according to art. 66 EA, the employer must conduct a preliminary hearing with the employee and another person of his or her choice before reaching a decision to dismiss that employee on the grounds of misconduct or poor performance. During, this hearing, the employer shall explain to the employee the reasons for which he or she is considering dismissing him or her.

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
  • See art. 73 EA.
    A dismissal is unfair if
    1) it was made for prohibited reasons (see prohibited grounds) or
    2) it was not "just and equitable" for the employer to terminate the contract of the employee.
    In assessing whether termination was just and equitable, the labour officer shall consider: i) the code of discipline, ii) the procedure followed by the employer in reaching the decision, iii) the conduct and capability of the employee, iv) compliance with the statutory procedural requirements, v) the previous practice of the employer in dealing with similar circumstances.

Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities; participation in a lawful strike; lawfully taking leave; HIV status
  • Art. 75 EA sets out a list of grounds which shall not constitute fair reasons for dismissal or for the imposition of a disciplinary penalty.
    On the organisation of and/or participation in a strike or other form of industrial action, see art. 76 EA.

Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives
  • Limited protection consisting in mandatory prior consultation of the union branch before initiating disciplinary proceedings and penalties involving dismissal against an employee who is a union member: art. 1 Disciplinary rules, § (6) of the Disciplinary Code, schedule 1 of the EA.