Work and Family

What do you know about Work and Family and the labour laws in Uganda? Find out about family responsibility laws, paternity leave entitlement, parental leave pay

What does the law say about work and parents?

The current labour laws in Uganda make certain mention of family related issues. However, existing provisions in the law do not adequately address the issue of working parents. For instance, the law states that working pregnant women are entitled to 60 working days of paid leave, but it does not explain how pregnant mothers should be treated while they have not yet taken their leave or after returning when they have given birth, except that they should be allowed to continue with their work.

What does the law say about paternity leave?

The law states that in case of child birth or miscarriage of a spouse, a male worker is entitled to four working days of paid paternity leave immediately after the child birth or miscarriage. The male employee however has the obligation to request the leave from his employer. He is free to return to work without any conditions after the expiry of the leave period.

Are there any plans made for child care in Uganda labour laws?

There are no specific provisions in the law for child care. However, some employers do provide child care services, including breastfeeding rooms. Some employers also support children through provision of transport to school or payment of schools.

Some collective bargaining agreements like those in the flower sector also provide other additional support like meals for the child and the working mother.

What happens if a child is sick or there is a serious family issue?

There is no specific provision in the law for an employee to attend to a sick child or any serious family issue other than death.

However, many of the existing collective bargaining agreements have arrangements for leave specifically catering for such purposes.

What about study leave for people who want to advance their careers?

For purposes of career advancement, an employee may request study leave from his or her employer, although it is not provided for as a compulsory requirement in the law with which employers have to comply.

The common practice in Uganda is that employees are granted study leave, especially during exam time and with pay, so as to enable them to pursue a course of their interest. However, many employers prefer to support their employees when they are pursuing a course which is in line with their current work or a career path in line with the interest of the organisation.

Generally, collective bargaining agreements provide for paid study leave in order for employees to advance their careers for their own benefit as well as those of their families.

Can an employer deduct money from an employee’s earnings to cater for rent provided for his family?

An employer may make deductions by way of reasonable rent or other reasonable charges for accommodation provided by the employer for the employee, or the employee’s family. However, this is only possible with the consent of the employee.

In case an employee dies while working, what happens to his or her family?

When the family of the employee has been brought to the place of employment by the employer, the family shall be repatriated or taken back to their original homeland at the expense of the employer. The family also gets other benefits including savings made with NSSF (in the case of private sector employees) or gratuity and/or pension (in the case of public servants).

In some collective bargaining agreements, additional support is offered by the employer to the family of the deceased employee to enable them to resettle.

What happens if an employee loses a family member or dependent relative?

The employee is allowed to be absent from work for a period of three days to mourn for the deceased family member or relative. However, within any calendar year an employee is allowed to be absent for a maximum of six working days only, implying you can attend only two funerals in case each is taking three days.

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Find out about Sick Leave and your workplace rights in Uganda.