Uganda needs a minimum wage


Minimum wage is based on the cost of living and paying people close to the cost of living.

Canada’s average minimum wage (all provinces and territories aggregated) is $10.45 per hour.

In most provinces, kids can get a job away from home at minimum wage.  Some kids do work for their parents or in their parents’s companies at an earlier age though.

What you end up seeing is a 14yr old working outside home at the minimum wage which is sometimes paid to people as old as their grand parents.  You think this is shocking?  Well that is what you get when you live in a country  that has some regulations.  Mind you those kids do not have to pay rent or buy food so the money is just pocket money. When the kids realise that the elders are being paid the same as them, they work harder at school.

Becky got her first job at age 15yrs making minimum wage.  She did not even think hard about the money.  Her school had made them do personal finance and she learned about budgeting.  Kid tells me one day “how can grown ups with families live on minimum wage?”.

Tasha got her first job at age 12yrs baby sitting.  By the way, for baby sitting, they can start working at age 12yrs old. Kid still makes me pay for everything.  Her job also pays her minimum wage of $10 per hour (province of New Brunswick).

What I have found frustrating is some Ugandan employers walking all over their employees as if they own the world. How can you justify paying a grown up graduate sh. 70,000 per month?  Which works out to $21 per month when a kid can make that in one day?

Then the outrageous thing of paying teachers sh. 250,000 per month which works out to $74 a month which a kid earns in a week or less and has no family to support.

Meanwhile your MPs earn sh. 30 – 100 million.

You people are not serious.

Did you know that paying people well means growth for your products, services and companies?  You need a population which has disposable income to buy what you produce.

The super markets and shopping centres in Canada and USA employee a lot of kids because those are consumers and all the money paid to them will find its way into those shopping centres.

After British Airways and Uchumi left Uganda, what happened to all the suppliers? Your customer base should have been built around Ugandans instead of a few hundred “expats”.

Grow your business by paying your employees well.  Then they will buy your products and your bottom line will grow.

We also have something that Uganda should consider.  During long holidays (Summer), companies are encouraged to hire kids.  The government pays the employer 50% of the cost of hiring a kid.  Then you look at Uganda where kids are out of school for up to 3mths with nothing to do.  Do you know what trouble kids get into when not in school or working at something?  You be the judge.  Find them all on Social Media uttering nonsense on international forums.

Martha Leah Nangalama

Moncton, Canada

The writer has an IT and business background.  Information you could use.

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