She says in today’s globalised economy, international labour standards are an essential component of the framework for ensuring that the growth
Today's workplace is worlds apart from what it was a century ago. Top management and junior staff can freely mingle and mothers enjoy benefits such as maternity, annual and sick leave. All these aspects were non-existent when the International Labour Organisation (ILO) was set up in 1919.
"ILO has given employers rules and guidelines to follow so they can make the workplace a decent place. Employees can now work with their rights observed and respected," Martin Wandera, the director of labour, employment and occupational safety and health at the Ministry of Labour, Gender and Social Development, says.
Wandera says since Uganda became a member of ILO in 1963, employees and employers have become more aware of their rights. Today, Uganda joins other countries to celebrate 100 years of ILO under the theme: The Future of Work.
"Workers today have a say in how their company runs and what should be put in place to ensure its smooth running. This contributes to development and innovation at the workplace. It also fosters good relationships between the workers and their employers," Wandera says.
Abused workers get justice
When ILO was formed, it put in place 190 conventions that influence legislations to respect workers' rights. Some of the rights are workers being paid in time, favourable working conditions and in case an employer violates any of the workers' rights, he is questioned and charged for his acts in line with the labour laws.
He adds that many times, the labour ministry has carried out sensitisation of employees on how and where to report in case their rights as employees are violated by the employers. Previously, people used to work for long hours, but today someone is not supposed to work for more than eight hours a day. Even when they are working, they should be protected from harm as they execute their duties.