The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has today given labor companies recruiting workers for labor to the Middle East a go ahead to resume operations.
In a letter addressed to the healthy ministry from the labor ministry, requesting for guidance on how to protect nationals from contracting the coronavirus while working.
“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,” said Minister Tumwebaze in the letter.
The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has been given a go-ahead to permit the recruitment of workers, save for domestic helpers. Domestic helpers have been subject to conditions these recruiting companies and the Ministry couldn’t influence, exposing them to violence, the virus, and more. The ministry is putting that recruitment on hold.
“We have noted that the externalization of domestic workers to the Middle East countries has been fraught with several challenges including the fact that a number of them contracted Covid-19 and had to be repatriated, In this regard, the externalization of domestic workers should continue to be on hold as we work out additional (Standard Operating Procedures) SOPs in Uganda, given their unique pre-departure orientation and training, accommodation and medical requirements.
“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 the government of Uganda and other authorities in the respective destination countries.”