Rukutana: Minimum Wage Dangerous For Uganda


see ampoule geneva;”>State Minister for labor Hon Mwesigwa Rukutana said on Monday that while a standard wage principle is imperative for the good of workers, store it cannot guarantee the safety of the existing employment opportunities.

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“We as a ministry have for long been thinking over it, but I don’t think that having a minimum wage in place alone will significantly impact on the current working conditions for our employees.”

“The country is still grappling with massive rates of unemployment, such that even if we enforced the minimum wage today, we may end up sacrificing even the little jobs availed by employers who may not be able or willing to abide by the requisite,” said Rukutana.

A private members Bill was drafted earlier this year with an aim of establishing a minimum wage for workers around the country.

Uganda being the only country in east Africa without such a regulation, MP’s Stephen Rwakajara, Paul Mwiru and James Mbahimba championed the cause, saying that the bill would emphasize wages for all workers and minimize or the rate of exploitation in the managers.

The Minister said that government recognizes the existence of certain sectors where the minimum wage is badly needed and hence the rule must not be applied generically.

“We have as a result opted to institute the Minimum Wages Board to look more vigilantly into the whole scenario and come up with recommendations to government on whether or not the a standard wage policy should be enforced and unto which specific sectors.”

Minister Rukutana was on Monday, April 28 officiating at the International day for Safety and Health at Work at Parliament as Uganda joined the rest of the world to recognize the lives of over 5500 workers who die every day worldwide as a result of occupational hazards.

He emphasized the importance of such a day, especially in countries like Uganda where not much caution is taken to protect workers from such dangers.

He also called upon employers across the country to abide by the existing laws and regulations concerning workers conditions, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act which provides for all employers obligations to ensure maximum safety for their employees, which include among others providing safety gears depending on the working environment.

“Our ministry has in place a number of inspectors who move around checking on some of the big companies and their workers’ conditions therein; but being few in number, a significant portion of the working sector remains uncovered,” he said.


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