Government prepares for resumption of labour externalization

The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has written to the National Covid-19 Taskforce and Ministry of Health seeking guidance as it prepares to reopen the labour externalization sector.

The ministry says it has started receiving clearance requests for migrant workers intending to return to their intending to return to their workplaces.

Labour externalization activities were suspended on March 20 after a lockdown was instituted to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

But most countries have now resumed international passenger flights and Entebbe International Airport was reopened on October 1 to allow the tourism sector to resume operations.

“We also note that the measured reopening of Entebbe International Airport was meant to cater for tourists and returning Ugandans. Any other category of travelers has to be cleared by the National COVID-19 Taskforce,” Aggrey Kibenge, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said in a statement.

“In light of the above, the Ministry is reviewing the current suspension of externalization of labour. Accordingly, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development has written to the Minister of Health seeking advice on the feasibility of reopening externalization of labour.”

The ministry is proposing phased reopening of the sector.

“The first phase will start with clearance of all categories of migrant workers other than domestic workers,” reads the statement.

“The slight delay in reopening of externalisation of domestic workers is because the Government would like to put in place additional measures aimed at promoting and protecting the welfare and rights of Ugandan domestic workers abroad.”

That being said, the ministry says it will inform the public operations for externalisation of labour resume.

“In the meantime, we urge all Ugandans wishing to travel abroad for work when the suspension is lifted to ensure that they deal only with recruitment companies that are duly licensed by the Ministry,” reads Kibenge’s statement.

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