Uganda calls for compassion as enterprises terminate employment contracts over COVID-19 effects

Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-28 19:49:58|Editor: huaxia

KAMPALA, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The Ugandan government on Tuesday called for compassion as business enterprises in the east African country have started terminating work contracts of their employees as a result of what they call negative business impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frank Tumwebaze, minister of gender, labor and social development told reporters here that the COVID-19 pandemic is temporary and has affected everyone and therefore both parties, workers and employers must exercise patience and mutual understanding.

Tumwebaze said that during a recent meeting of government, workers' unions and the employers' federation, all parties agreed that the termination of employees should be taken as the last resort, after all the available softer options have been exhausted.

The tripartite meeting also noted that termination of employees' contracts 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.

Tumwebaze said the most affected sectors are tourism, hotel, and transport among others.

He said some sectors like manufacturing especially those involved in producing soap, sanitizers, toilet tissues, face-masks and other personal protective equipment, should not use the excuse of COVID-19 to lay off their employees. He said these factories are reportedly experiencing growth in their businesses.

Bank of Uganda, Uganda's central bank early this month said the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a severe contraction in economic activity due to a combination of global supply chain disruptions, travel restrictions, measures to limit contact between persons, and the sudden decline in demand.

Economic experts warn that is is likely to lead to slow business and some enterprises may close. Enditem