Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Ministry of Gender and the NSSF are mobilizing Labour Inspectors to ensure that all employers contribute workers’ savings to the fund.
This is part of the efforts to ensure that all workers across the country comply with the recent amendments to the NSSF Act.
The NSSF Act amended in 2022 requires employers to remit employee contributions irrespective of the number of workers employed.
Before the law was amended, only employers with more than five employees were required to make contributions to NSSF.
The Ministry and the NSSF management have discovered that the Labour Inspectors at the districts will play a crucial role in monitoring and ensuring compliance with the law as amended.
On Wednesday 9, August 2023, the Ministry and the NSSF kicked off training of Labour Inspectors from the central region to equip them with skills for the tasks ahead. Similar trainings have been lined up in other regions of the country.
The Minister of Gender, Labour, and Ssocial Development Betty Amongi expressed hope that with Labour Inspectors on board, the NSSF contributions will go beyond the current only 10%.
“The Act has opened the spectrum of social security where every worker can now save either through their employer or voluntarily. But how will NSSF know where they are, whether and how much they are being paid? Our Labour Inspectors have boots on the ground and will be the eyes and ears of these workers who have never been registered by NSSF,” she said.
Section 9 of the Employment Act 2006 provides for labor officers at all levels from the national to local government.
They are mandated with implementing and ensuring compliance with the Act. Section 11 of the employment mandates Labour Inspectors to inspect workplaces to examine and monitor workers’ conditions as required by the law.
Amongi said with a new partnership, employer compliance with the NSSF Act becomes a key area of emphasis for Labour Inspectors.
According to Amongi, the partnership will help NSSF to leverage the ministry’s labour inspection network, for its advantage, since it is not adequately present in every part of the country.
She adds that by doing this, the ministry and the fund are extending the government’s responsibility to ensure the very Uganda lives a decent life with or without a job, through NSSF’s social protection program.
“When Government undertook a retrenchment exercise, I commissioned a consultant to find out how those that were retrenched were coping. The study found out that within 5 years of those who were at the rank of Commissioner, 20% had passed away within just five years because they were not prepared for that loss of income. So, it is both the responsibility of the individual worker as well as the Government to ensure that all Ugandans have social protection,” she added.
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The NSSF Acting Managing Director, Patrick Ayota said the partnership has come at the right time when the fund is ready to take on the challenge that emerged with the new changes in the law.
“We have a two-pronged strategy – first is to increase willingness to save by ensuring all eligible businesses understand and comply with the NSSF Act. This is the first objective of the partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development, where the Labor Inspectors shall support the Fund to ensure employer compliance in their districts,” he said.
He adds that this strategy also looks at increasing the savings for every Ugandan who earns an income, and this is done through strategic partnerships and orderly innovative business models to make entrepreneurship, saving, and investing, a way of life for the most vulnerable people in the country.
Apart from training Labour Inspectors, the Ministry and NSSF plan to mobilize RDCs, and CAOs, at all levels, municipalities, Cities, and districts as part of the strategic stakeholders.