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By ALP Advocates,
August 14, 2020

Court of Appeal affirms need to give literal and ordinary meaning in interpreting terms of contracts of employment. Further, it upholds the necessity for fairness in the proceedings of disciplinary committees while noting they are not expected to adopt strict rules of evidence applied in courts of law.

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Industrial Court finds informal discussions about an employee’s performance not to amount to a disciplinary hearing and called for minimum standards of natural justice in disciplinary procedure. The Court held a termination based on such discussions to amount to unlawful dismissal and awarded Shillings One Billion in damages.

Parliament of Uganda enacts amendments to electoral laws as country gears for 2021 general elections. It is an effort at electoral law reforms straddling between aligning with recommendations of the Supreme Court and the 2018 constitutional amendments.

Court of Appeal affirms requirements of notice and reasons in termination of an employment relationship and that an employee who rejects payment in lieu of notice is entitled to a hearing. Further, it upholds salary loan arrears as deductible from special damages and terminal benefits.

High Court’s Family Division outlaws practice of husbands bequeathing matrimonial property to an heir and, in effect, upholds a woman’s equal rights during and after marriage. Crucially, the Court also affirmed as defective a will that sought to bequeath matrimonial property or property not forming part of the deceased’s estate.

High Court grants leave for publicly listed companies to convene AGMs by electronic means or virtual platforms in wake of impracticality, owing to COVID-19 restrictions, of in-person meetings, subject to prior no-objection from the Securities Exchange and compliance with applicable notices.

The High Court found the 2017 regulations amending the schedule of the trade licensing legislation to conflict with specific laws regulating the legal profession and the pharmaceutical and clearing and forwarding businesses. The Court held it essential to consider relevant existing laws in making of subsidiary legislation or else regulations may be found ultra vires the said existing laws. The Court also regarded specific laws as taking precedence over general laws in the regulation and licensing of the professions and businesses.

Uganda has been described by the oil industry press as Africa’s ‘hottest exploitation frontier’. Accordingly, Uganda’s Albertine Graben is estimated to hold more than 6 billion barrels of oil, placing Uganda among the foremost African oil producers. The discovery and eventual exploitation of this oil resource is one of those once-in-a generation events that can transform the country not only on a macro level but also in the individual lives of Ugandan citizens.

The High Court rules that employee appraisals should be conducted in accordance with standards and set timelines and the absence thereof subjects decisions of public officials or bodies on non-renewal to concerns over unfairness, arbitrariness and procedural impropriety. The Court also rules that a fixed term contract with an option for renewal creates a legitimate expectation for a renewal as well as a similar expectation of fair treatment before a decision not to renew is taken.

This Business Survival Toolkit offers guidance to business entities and entrepreneurs on how to manage in the wake of COVID-19 measures, particularly in respect of transnational engagements (contracts, employment, tax); survival (insolvency); and overall regulatory compliance (amidst government interventions).

This Alert addresses the implications of the new directive by the Ministry of Gender, Labour & Social Development to employers as regards submitting labour returns and statistics of their employees.

In a bid to respond to emerging public health concerns, the government of Uganda has issued several regulations, including Public Health (Notification of COVID-19) Order, SI No 45/2020; Public Health (Prevention of COVID-19) (Requirements and Conditions of Entry into Uganda) Order, SI No 46/2020; Public Health (Control of COVID-19) Order, SI No 52/2020; and Public Health (Prohibition of Entry into Uganda) Order, SI No 53/2020. These regulations were issued over a week’s period between March 17, 2020 and March 24, 2020 and, while primarily aimed at prevention of spread of COVID-19 infection, the ban on, for instance, on bars and concerts (in the Control of COVID-19 Order) has had a ricochet effect upon employment, as it naturally extended to gatherings at other social events and places.

Companies registered in Uganda run risk being struck off the Register of Companies for not having filed Annual Returns

Industrial Court decries unequal bargaining in the employee-employer relationship with regards to notice and grounds for termination of employment and considers the date an employee is set to resign as the effective date of lawful termination of an employment relationship.

Article No 2/2020 of the ALP Law Review Series addresses disputes over customs and trade in the context of regional trade integration in the East African Community (EAC). The article reviews three decisions rendered in 2019 that involved disputes over taxes, classification of goods, and unfair trade practices within the EAC customs union and common market legal regime.

Article No 1/2020 of the ALP Law Review Series reflects on the role of the courts in Uganda in arbitration and in particular the attempts to use judicial review to challenge decisions of arbitral bodies and arbitral awards. The jurisdiction of courts to intervene in arbitration matters in Uganda is regulated by section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, Cap 4 (as amended).

Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development temporarily closes its Ministry Zonal Office, Surveys and Mapping, Land Registry and Land Administration Offices w.e.f. January 4-21, 2020

Industrial Court has unlimited jurisdiction on remedies it can order. A hearing envisaged under the employment law is not a requirement to hold a 'mini-court' and can be through letter, email or face-to-face. Employers are not obligated to clear employees' salary loans.

In this issue, we would like to inform you about the decision by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau to enforce the statutory fine on companies for late filing of annual returns.

The EACJ has thus ruled that the respondent is prohibited from implementing the impugned decision or in any way disposing of the applicant’s interest in the subject property, pending the hearing and determination of the application inter parte.

On 30th July 2014, the Appellant’s contract with his Employer was terminated and in April 2015, he lodged a complaint with the labour officer citing unfair termination under Section 69 of the Employment Act 2006 and in that same complaint requested that the matter be referred to the Industrial Court since it raised a substantial question of law and the same was referred to the said Court.

Since 2010, the five partner states, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania have aimed at having the EAC as a single customs union. The scope of co-operation is as provided in Article 5 of the Protocol to apply to any activity undertaken in co-operation by the Partner States, to achieve the free movement of goods, persons, labour, services and capital and to ensure the enjoyment of the rights of establishment and residence of their nationals within the Community.

If you are looking for a homegrown, reliable, efficient, futuristic firm built with unparalleled understanding of the East African region, individuals and business perspective, then Africa Law Practice Advocates East Africa is the place for you because we are progressive in thinking, innovative in action and excellent in service.

The UK has promised to pass legislation that will protect and promote trade with developing countries. To do this however, the legislation has to be similar to the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences. Yet you only need to watch the highly partisan Brexit debates in the House of Commons to realize that such legislation will probably never see the light of day.