The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has lifted the ban on external labour companies exporting migrant labour abroad, especially the Middle East. The operations of external labour companies had been suspended in March this year following the closure of the airport among other measures to avert the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is to inform all licensed companies involved in the sourcing of external employment for Ugandan migrant workers, that following the relaxing of a number of COVID lock down measures by Ministry of Health and resumption of air travel, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development will be lifting the ban
on labour export by licenced companies in accordance with the existing mandatory COVID SOPs for all travellers,” Gender, Labor and Social Development Minister Frank Tumwebaze said on Tuesday.
Tumwebaze added that the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary will issue a detailed statement regarding the whole matter.
“You will recall that following the presidential directive of 18 March 2020 due to the outbreak of Covid-19 global pandemic, I suspended the externalisation of labour on 20 March 2020. In this regard, the Ministry stopped clearing Ugandans going abroad for work. With the resumption of international passenger flights in most countries and the opening of Entebbe International Airport on 1 October 2020, the Ministry continues to receive requests for clearance from recruitment companies and individual migrant workers intending to take up employment abroad,” Tumwebaze wrote to Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng on October 7.
“It is our considered view that for now, clearance of other categories of migrant workers, other than domestic workers should resume. This should be subject to fulfillment of Covid-19 SOPs put in place by government of Uganda and other authorities in the respective destination countries,” Tumwebaze added.
Tumwebaze’s decision follows a recent decision of External Labour Recruitment Companies’ to officially close business in Uganda.
Recently, through their association body of Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA), the companies accused some officials at the Ministry of labour of promoting black market for labour export thus pushing them out of work.
They complained that that while government officially suspended labour export due to Covid-19, some unscrupulous individuals in the industry are paying some officials in the ministry to traffic people out of the country.