Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Employment of Ugandan Migrant Workers Abroad, No. 62
This practice consists of the development and application of a national legal framework, based on ILO standards as well as other relevant international norms, to regulate and monitor private recruitment agencies so that fraud is prevented and migrant workers are protected.
- Responsible Organizations: The Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, Government of Uganda (Government)
- ILO Regions: Africa
- Country(ies): Uganda
- Multilateral framework theme(s): Migration process; Protection of migrant workers
- Other Themes / Keywords: Recruitment
- Start date: 2005
The objectives of the statutory regulations include promoting the rights of Ugandan migrant workers by securing the best possible terms and conditions of employment for them.
Activities, processes and steps involved:
In 2005, the Ugandan government passed the Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Employment of Ugandan Migrant Workers Abroad, Regulations No. 62, popularly known in Uganda as "Nkuba Kyeyo." The Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, through the External Employment Unit (EEU), is the lead agency responsible for implementing and enforcing the law.
The regulations outline the requirements for establishing a recruitment agency (e.g., obtaining a license, proof of financial capacity; the amount of minimum required capital; proof of marketing capability etc.). License applicants are required to offer information sessions to migrant workers on recruitment and terms and conditions of work; ensure that contracts of employment are concordant with the standard employment contract and other laws, regulations and collective bargaining agreements; ensure that migrant workers examine their contracts before they sign them and receive copies; guarantee compliance with the legislations of Uganda, of the country of employment, and international labour bodies such as the ILO.
Another significant requirement is that recruiters assume joint liability with the employer for all claims and liabilities that may arise in connection with the implementation of the employment contract, including wages, death and disability compensation, and repatriation. Licenses are valid for two years and can be renewed after a successful clearance from the Criminal Investigations Department, among other requirements.
Before issuing a license, the External Employment Unit conducts an inspection of the premises and pertinent documents, as well as periodic inspections and inspections when complaints are submitted. Violations are subject to penalties, including denial or loss of license. There are also rules on the advertisement of job vacancies and fees that may be charged to workers. The External Employment Unit must provide free legal service to victims of illegal recruitment. The Government may conduct surveillance on recruiters and may issue closure orders of their businesses and premises for noncompliance.
A section on Placement by the Private Sector requires accreditation of foreign employers prior to their employment of Ugandans, with only licensed agencies being entitled to apply for their accreditation. Accreditation is normally valid for two years and may be revoked. Employers that have violated their contractual obligations to workers, violated rules and regulations on overseas employment, or committed grave misconduct are blacklisted and prohibited from employing Ugandan workers. Part III also requires the submission of recruitment orders for workers stating their wages and copies of their signed employment contracts. If recruitment agencies fail to deploy workers within 120 days after receipt of the recruitment order without valid reason, they may be fined or have their licenses cancelled or suspended.
Placement by the Administration provides for the recruitment and placement of workers by the External Employment Unit primarily on government-to-government arrangements and also for foreign employers in sectors dictated by policy. This section also provides for the processing of individual workers¿ foreign employment where they have secured contracts on their own.
The promotion and development of employment opportunities abroad by the External Employment Unit, employment standards, and minimum provisions for employment contracts are outlined in the section, Market Development and Formulation of Employment Standards. These include guaranteed wages, overtime pay, free emergency medical and dental care, just cause for termination, workers compensation benefits and war hazard protection, assistance in remittance transfer, and free and adequate lodging or compensatory food allowance. This section also provides for the development of standard employment contracts.
The External Employment Unit also oversees the suspension, cancellation, and revocation of licenses and procedural regulations in the processing of complaints against recruiters. The EEU also has developed a Standard Bilateral Agreement to guide negotiations with potential destination countries.
Ugandans emigrating for employment
The Uganda Missions abroad, External Security Organization, and Internal Security Organization are crucial partners, as they help coordinate the handling and exchange of information regarding Ugandan job seekers with the destination countries.
In 2006, the EEU licensed ten recruitment agencies and the regulations benefited 600 Ugandan emigrants.
Relevant criteria for assessment
1. Respect for migrant worker rights:
The regulatory instrument protects the rights of migrant workers by implementing a licensing procedure to oversee the activities of recruitment agencies; stipulating the requirement of acceptable contracts that ensure migrants' employment security when they are abroad; requiring employers to guarantee decent terms and conditions of employment; and facilitating the smooth transfer of remittances from abroad to Uganda.
- Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 62, Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Employment of Ugandan Migrant Workers Abroad.