Uganda’s Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has warned that it is going to revoke operating licenses from companies that charge recruitment fees.
The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has warned that they are going to withdraw operating licenses from exporting companies charging recruitment fees.
Addressing the media, Hon Betty Amongi said locals desiring to travel abroad to work in countries with which Uganda has bilateral labour agreements should not be charged any fee for recruitment.
She said the government established the need to create job opportunities for disadvantaged Ugandans and in so doing, it reached out to many nations worldwide to devise means on how to externalise labour.
“Cabinet strongly emphasised the strategic goal of creating more jobs internally and if Ugandans must externalise labour, there is a need to export skilled labours rather than unskilled ones,” Amongi said.
Information from the labour ministry shows that a total of 216 companies are currently licensed to source and formally transport Ugandans to work abroad.
Amongi who was quick to warn and lash out at these recruitment fees also raised concerns about charges for jobs that are fully paid for by foreign recruitment companies.
“Based on the bilateral labour agreement signed with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the employers in Saudi Arabia meet all the placement costs. In other words, Ugandan migrant workers destined for Saudi Arabia are not supposed to pay any fees,” she indicated.
In addition, she disclosed that several regulations have been imposed and others also revised to help smoothen the process of labour exportation in the country.
“These regulations include: revision of the law, restricting ownership of recruiting companies to only Ugandan nationals and verification and vetting of company directors by the joint intelligence committee, issuing of licenses with the ‘no objection’ by the minister of Gender Labour and Social Development upon satisfaction that the company has no previously committed illegalities.”
“Other regulations include: developing an online system for management for external employment including license application and issuance, community engagements with district participation in externalisation of labour programme and instituting an external employment help desk at Entebbe international Airport to verify clearances of migrant workers,” she added.
Relatedly, she said the cabinet also approved strict sanctions on any companies that are reported or caught in breach of the above labour laws. She revealed that they have so far suspended over 24 labour firms for not living up to the required expectations and laws.