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Labour Minister Unveils Measures to Safeguard Workers’ Well-being

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Government is set to introduce new legislation aimed at curbing occupational safety violations in workplaces. Labour Minister Betty Amongi disclosed plans for the Occupational Safety and Health Bill during a recent media briefing, emphasizing its potential to tighten regulations and penalize non-compliant employers.

The government has announced its intention to introduce a new legislation aimed at addressing occupational safety offenses in workplaces. Labour Minister Betty Amongi, during a press briefing held on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, disclosed the presentation of the Occupational Safety and Health Bill. This bill is anticipated to enhance regulatory measures concerning workplace safety and minimize incidents of accidents.

Speaking at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, Amongi informed the media about Uganda’s preparations for the upcoming International Labour Day on May 1, 2024. This day serves as a global acknowledgment of workers’ contributions to development and aims to raise awareness regarding their safety during work-related activities.

Highlighting the findings of recent inspections, Amongi revealed numerous irregularities observed across 1,031 workplaces and 620 plants. She emphasized the prevalence of non-compliance with occupational safety regulations, resulting in 16 investigated cases with corresponding sanctions imposed on errant employers.

Pending parliamentary approval and presidential endorsement, the proposed legislation is expected to grant the government expanded authority to penalize non-compliant employers. Amongi emphasized the reluctance of many victims to pursue legal actions against their employers, citing the unequal power dynamics inherent in such negotiations.

Furthermore, Amongi underscored common instances of labor exploitation, including undocumented employment and lack of medical insurance coverage. She noted instances where workers are compelled to operate under substandard conditions or with inadequate machinery, thereby heightening the risk of life-threatening accidents.

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