The Parliament of Uganda has today afternoon passed the 2015 Minimum Wage Bill into law, setting a minimum amount of money that an employer should pay anyone they employ, and decreeing that employers who pay their workers a monthly sum below the stated amount will face a three year-jail term or a penalty of up to Shs10 million. The bill also sets a fine of Shs480,000 and a jail term of 12 months or both for anyone convicted of obstructing an authorized officer from carrying out his or her duty regarding the implementation of the minimum wage.
The bill, now needing only by president Museveni’s approval and signature to become Law, was unanimously supported by legislators from both government and opposition sides of the august house. The only delay in the process of passing it came during the deliberations on how much the minimum should be, with some legislators arguing for a higher figure while others wanted the figure to be set lower than Sh130,000.
Though the Bill sets a minimum amount that everyone in the country should adhere to, it however gives the different sectors , through their professional and other regulating bodies, to annually set their ‘individual’ minimum wages as long as they don’t go below the national minimum of Sh130,000. These sectoral minimum wages are to be submitted to the Minimum Wages Advisory Board that will comprise of representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Finance, National Planning Authority, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the Federation of Uganda Employers, National Organisation of Trade Unions, the Central Organisation of Free Trade Unions and any other umbrella trade Union that may be registered under the Labour Unions Act, and non-unionized workers.
However, the members of the Minimum Wages Advisory Board will be appointed by the Minister of Labour in consultation with the Public Service Commission and approved by Cabinet.