Uganda cement maker offers tips
KAMPALA, UGANDA- Hima Cement contractors have been advised to always refer to the employment manual when dealing with employees so as to ensure that their concerns and interests are properly captured.
In his comments during the Hima Cement 3rd Annual Contractor Forum at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala, Peter Okello (pictured right), the Commissioner for Labour advised participants to keep abreast with the current legal reforms and ongoing amendments.
“It is important to do this so as to promote industrial relations. This way, we shall be able to scale down industrial disharmony because where there is conflict, productivity goes down,” Okello said.
He also promised the contractors that their complaints of high taxation would be further discussed with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development through the offices of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
“We take note of the high taxation in the cement industry which has been stated by a number of contractors. It is an issue that requires interaction involving URA and discussing further with Ministry of Finance; because really, they (contractors) are creating jobs. We therefore need to put in place incentives that support job creation in this sector. Otherwise if over taxed, they may get constrained then the sentiments of closing down shall become a reality,” Okello said.
Doreen Byengoma, the Legal Manager at Hima Cement in remarks reiterated to need for contractors to adhere to the set standards given that they (suppliers) are an integral part of Hima’s business strategy.
“Our approach to sustainable development as Hima Cement includes how we work with our suppliers. We integrate sustainable development into our day to day operations and relationships with suppliers. All Lafargeholcim Group companies are required to identify and manage risks pertaining to Health and Safety, Social Responsibility and the environment in their supply chain hence this annual forum for contractors,” she said.
Dr. Robert Okullo Obuku, a medical practitioner from Case Hospital while making a presentation on Occupational Health encouraged participants to always ensure that pre-employment checks as well as exit checks are carried out on their workers so as to eliminate potential litigation.
“As an employer, you also need to protect yourself as much as the employee. Do pre-employment check-ups to ascertain that the persons are capable of handling specific tasks.
“Exit check-ups are equally important. You have to know what someone came in with and what they’ve left with, if any. This is very important because some employees take advantage of the labour office to draw compensation,” he said.