Ugandan workers less educated, poorly paid
Sep 22, 2014
MOST working Ugandans are only educated up to secondary level, work for 10 years, six days a week and earn at least sh403 per hour according to a wages survey
By Samuel Sanya
MOST working Ugandans are only educated up to secondary level, work for 10 years, six days a week and earn at least sh403 per hour according to a wages survey.
In the wage indicator survey, released recently, 1,306 Ugandans from all administrative regions were interviewed by the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) in conjunction with Dutch and Tanzanian researchers.
Conservative estimates place Uganda’s working population at 17 million. The average working week of respondents is almost 60 hours and they work six days per week.
Slightly over half (51%) work evenings, seven of 10 workers report working on Saturdays, while four of 10 work on Sundays.
Nearly half of the workers in the sample were managers. Only two of 10 workers had a permanent contract, three of 10 were on fixed term contract while four of 10 workers said they are entitled to social security.
Despite the low numbers entitled to pensions, respondents indicated having four dependants on average. The analysis showed that 77% of the workers were paid on or above the poverty line of sh403 per hour or $1.25 (about sh3,000) per day.
Five percent of workers had no formal education, 14% studied to primary education 48% had secondary education certificates, 16% had a college education and 17% a university degree. Only 62% of informal workers are paid above the poverty line compared to 97% of the most formal workers.
Workers in trade, transport and hospitality are most at risk of poverty with 30% paid less than a dollar a day. Public servants are best paid. At least 92% earned above the poverty line.
Labour State minister Rukutana Mwesigwa recently revealed that Cabinet is considering creation of a wage board and a minimum wage.
The Government last set a minimum wage of sh6,000 in 1984. In 1995, the Minimum Wage Advisory Council recommended a sh75,000 minimum monthly wage. It remains on paper.