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Domestic Work in Uganda

All about Domestic Work in Uganda, Domestic Workers and the Law in Uganda, Domestic Workers and Minimum Wages in Uganda and more on Mywage Uganda.

National law and domestic workers

The Employment Act 2006 states that there is no permit requirement for one to recruit a domestic servant for employment. However, beyond this there is no other specific provision in the Constitution of Uganda or the labour laws regarding domestic workers in Uganda.

What are the major categories of domestic workers in Uganda?

In Uganda these are the people who work in gardens (gardener), an individual who looks after children, or works as an (indoor) maid or house boy.

Is domestic work also a form of employment?

Although some people think that domestic work is uncomplicated, it still remains real work just like other jobs. The work can be physically and psychologically challenging. This type of work demands long hours, from preparing children to go to school in the morning to finishing up when all others have gone to their beds. A domestic worker brings skills and experience into the home of her employer.

What about payment for domestic workers?

There is no fixed wage for a domestic worker. The wage usually depends on what the employer is willing to pay or what the domestic worker is willing to accept. 

In other words an employer can set a very small pay for a domestic worker, since there is no legal obligation thereafter. When domestic workers enter the labour market, they usually don’t know what their rights are. The Minimum Wage in Uganda was set in 1984 and has not been revised since then. Domestic workers are usually paid between Shs 4,000 (US$ 1.78) and Shs 10,000 (US$ 4.44) per month.

Who is mostly engaged in domestic work in Uganda?

Domestic workers in Uganda are mostly young girls, despite the constitutional rights of children in the legal framework; child domestic workers still exist in Uganda. Contributing factors to child domestic work  include, socio-economic, political (civil strife), HIV/AIDS related due to the death of parents, and institutional/policy related factors, cultural influences where children are discriminated against, and employers’ preference for young workers with less demands compared to older workers. 

Where can a domestic worker complain if there is a problem?

Domestic workers are not regulated in Uganda; however, in case there is a problem, just like any other employee, a domestic worker may report to the District Labour Officer who will call the employer to settle the matter. If the complaint is not resolved then the matter may be brought to the attention of the Labour Commissioner.

In order to make it easier to get assistance in case of any problem, a domestic worker should have an employment contract.

Does a domestic worker in Uganda have a right to be notified in case his or her contract is to be terminated?

All workers deserve to be treated fairly and respectfully at their place of work, with full labor rights and protections given to them. The law generally recognises a notice period. A domestic worker is entitled to notice in writing or a verbal notice for an illiterate worker. At least this should be explained to the domestic worker if he/she is not able to understand it in written form. 

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The Employment Act 2006 states that there is no permit requirement for one to recruit a domestic servant for employment. However, beyond this there is no other specific provision in the Constitution of Uganda or the labour laws regarding domestic workers in Uganda.

What about payment for domestic workers?

Where can a domestic worker complain if there is a problem?

Domestic workers are not regulated in Uganda; however, in case there is a problem, just like any other employee, a domestic worker may report to the District Labour Officer who will call the employer to settle the matter. If the complaint is not resolved then the matter may be brought to the attention of the Labour Commissioner.

In order to make it easier to get assistance in case of any problem, a domestic worker should have an employment contract.

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