PLA PAPER ON THE IMPACT OF COVID 19 ON LABOUR 2

Ensuring democracy and social justice in the world of work.

pdf PLA PAPER ON THE IMPACT OF COVID 19 ON LABOUR 2

In Covid-19 Research 65 downloads

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a rapid spreading virus that has taken the whole world into a whirl wind where people are torn between staying at home and follow health guidelines to keep the virus at bay and going out to work in search for the daily bread. A virus that first surfaced in a Chinese seafood and poultry market in the late 2019 manifesting pneumonia like symptoms currently knows no borders. By 6th April 2020, 1 244 421 cases of COVID-19 (in accordance with the applied case definitions and testing strategies in the affected countries) had been reported globally, including 68 976 deathsUganda is among the 54 African countries that have confirmed cases of COVID-19 and as of 5th April, Uganda had registered 52 cases of COVID-19. 

To alleviate the impact of this pandemic, countries across the globe have adopted measures including social distancing, self-isolation, institutional quarantine and travel restrictions. In Uganda Government has issued measures aimed at stopping the spread and the subsequent impact of COVID-19 including suspending all forms of public gatherings of a political, social and religious nature, schools, cross border movement of non-residents for 30 days, public transport means including buses, taxi, coasters, passenger trains, tuku tuku and all boda boda were suspended for 14 days and the sale of non-food items in markets that bring together many people was also suspended.

These measure have pushed people from the work-places into their homes leaving employers with no plan to manage the turbulent times.  According to the International Labour Organisation, the crisis has already transformed into an economic and labour market shock, impacting not only supply (production of goods and services) but also demand (consumption and investment). All businesses, regardless of size, are facing serious challenges, especially those in the aviation, tourism and hospitality industries, with a real threat of significant declines in revenue, insolvencies and job losses in specific sectors.

While the President of Uganda has ordered ministry and government departments to work out a plan of the essential staff that need to remain on duty to work on a rotational basis, employers in the private sector have resorted to remote working to ensure that their businesses continue operating through the crisis even when there has been no pronouncement from the Government to the private sector.

Platform for Labour Action a non-government national civil society organization that promotes and protects the rights of vulnerable and marginalized workers in Uganda has keenly followed developments and the measure put in place by the Government to contain the spread of the virus and has examined their impact on the labour and employment sector of Uganda.