Uganda ce­ment maker of­fers tips

East African Business Week - - FEATURE - BY EDI­SON OLOUCH

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.

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