Employment & Pension
Signum’s Employment and Pensions Practice is the leading employment specialized practice in Uganda. We advise both domestic and international clients to enable them to be legally compliant with the ever-changing labour law regime. Our offering includes a range of innovative tools and services to help meet clients’ needs on HR-related matters.
We adopt a practical and business-focused approach in advising clients, so that the human resources and talent retention strategy of our clients is implemented in the most cost-effective manner, in compliance with the applicable laws, business policies and the ethics of the organization.
Our Employment law experts work seamlessly with our tax advisory, M&A, Immigration, corporate and Regulatory Compliance Advisory and dispute resolution teams to provide a fully integrated service.
We assist clients in drafting and reviewing employment documentation including, customised Human Resource Policies and employee handbooks, job offer letters and employment agreements, confidentiality agreements, IP assignment agreements, non-compete and non-solicit agreements, training bonds, consultancy agreements, secondment and deputation agreements, severance, and release agreements, etc.
We have successfully incorporated industry best practices and customised our advice to the requirements of our clients. We reconcile the 'at-will' employment and 'work-for-hire' concepts with Uganda laws.
We advise our clients on application and compliance with Uganda’s labour laws and the consequences of non-compliance. We have advised on matters related to local content obligations, workplace investigations and discipline management, employee benefits, superannuation/retirement benefits and provident funds, termination of employment and other numerous obligations of the employer.
We offer in-house bespoke trainings on employment related issues to different clients. The team is dedicated towards ensuring the legal protection of our clients and pushing for the realization of their interests during each training.
Our employment litigation team has successfully represented clients in numerous labour disputes and workers’ compensation claims before the Labour Office, Equal Opportunities Commission, Industrial Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. We also advise clients during the disciplinary hearing process to ensure compliance and limit litigation exposure. In addition to Court representation, our services also include advising clients on the litigation strategy, limiting financial exposure, drafting, and issuing legal notices, responding to legal notices, and drafting claim documents.
We advise our clients on the structuring of a tax-efficient compensation package as well as other applicable statutory deductions. Our team has technical expertise and experience to handle a full range of pension and retirement benefits schemes’ matters. We advise on setting up pension benefits, drafting of trust deeds and rules, registration of schemes and trustee advisory services to several retirement benefit schemes and their sponsoring employers.
We advise clients on strategies for employment termination, collective terminations, restructuring, downsizing and reduction in force in cases of technological changes, business/organisational restructuring, and financial challenges. This includes guidance on regulatory compliance requirements. We also attend disciplinary hearings where we advise our clients on different compliance aspects.
We conduct periodic human resource legal audits for our clients. The audit typically encompasses appraisal of the level of compliance with applicable labour laws, taxation laws and corporate laws relating to hiring/ firing of employees, terms of employment, employee compensation, stock option plans, to name a few. The legal Human Resource audit enables us to suggest measures for legal process re-engineering.
We assist international and local companies with immigration requirements associated with importing foreign skills and expatriates. Our immigration law assignments include advice to employers and employees who wish to come to Uganda on employment, deputation, or secondment.
We are retained Lawyers for ASARECA an intergovernmental organization with membership in over fifteen countries. We have reviewed and rendered advice on employment documentation including the Operations Manual and assist with reviewing/drafting employment contracts from time to time.
We have advised Bollore on several mandates including, collective terminations, and staff restructures, negotiating and drafting collective bargaining agreements, managing forensic investigations, advising on disciplinary hearings and staff exits, representation in labour disputes.
We are retained to provide routine Employment law advisory and support, Rendering advisory in relation to disciplinary processes. We represent the bank in labour disputes before the Labour Office and Industrial Court. We have provided legal, regulatory, and transactional support in setting up the staff provident fund.
We have successfully represented the bank in numerous labour disputes before all labour courts and courts of judicature. We routinely render employment law advisory on a wide range of employment issues.
Retained legal counsel to provide legal and HR support to staff restructuring, advisory on employee terminal benefits arising out of business reorganization.
Retained lawyers to render employment and immigration advisory and services such as securing working permits, reviewing of employment contracts and human resource policies.
We are retained legal counsel to Mengo hospital to provide employment and HR support. We have reviewed employment documentation, provided legal support to the internal disciplinary processes, advised on employee and terminal benefits, and represented the hospital in labour matters.
Reviewed and re-drafted its Human Resource Manual and Policies (2020 version). We also drafted new policies for the Client to adapt to the COVID-19 and post COVID-19 era. We have represented Uganda Baati in several labour disputes and provided routine employment advisory and trainings.
We reviewed and re-drafted its Human Resource Policies and Procedures Manual. We advised Uganda’s Premier Business School on its interactions with Uganda’s employment law in light of its unique situation as an entity that is governed primarily by the Universities and other Tertiary Institutions Act.
We are retained lawyers for Healthy Entrepreneurs wherein we advise the Company on management of disciplinary hearings and exit of employees. We offer routine advisory on regular compliance issues in line with the Employment laws and regulations in Uganda.
We have advised the Bank on management of employee restructures in light of structural changes in the Bank. We assisted the Bank in ensuring that it was able to notify the Commissioner of Labour, to adequately structure the compensation packages for the affected employees and ensure business continuity.
We are retained to offer routine legal advisory to Samasource on employment related issues. We have advised them on single-employee restructures and also represented the Company before the Labour Office and the Industrial Court.
We have advised Technoserve on structuring of their employment and consultancy contracts. We have also advised them and offered technical support on management of disciplinary hearings particularly advising on post-hearing procedures and applicable disciplinary sanctions. We have also offered technical support services on forensic audits and investigations into infractions committed by some employees.
We have offered training and capacity building services to Managers of Baylor Uganda on general employment law and specifically, management of Disciplinary hearings.
We regularly facilitate trainings on Employment laws, trends and opportunities to the members of FUE. We keep employers abreast with the changing employment patterns in the market and ensure that we assist workplaces to remain compliant with the latest laws and decisions from the Industrial Court and other Courts of record.
We regularly facilitate trainings on Employment laws, trends and opportunities to the members of HRMA. We keep HR Managers abreast with the changing employment patterns in the market and ensure that we assist workplaces to remain compliant with the latest laws and decisions from the Industrial Court and other Courts of record. We also facilitate conversations on reviews and legal audits for employee contracts and Human Resource Manuals.
Led by our Patson W. Arinaitwe, we advised SolarNow Uganda on conducting a legally compliant restructure of employees in the aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the resultant lockdown. This brief involved numerous townhall meetings with affected employees to discuss favorable compensation restructuring. It also entailed correspondences with government officials in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to notify them of the impending mass lay-offs of employees. We also advised on the justification for paying out particular retirement benefits and structuring the Benefits portfolio to align with the Company’s legal and tax obligations.
We were instructed by the Bank to advise on the legal and regulatory landscape of setting up a retirement benefits scheme for its employees with a portfolio of more than 400 Million. Our Patson W. Arinaitwe and Racheal Kembabazi led the team that advised on the licensing requirements, the appointment and licensing of trustees and the onboarding of other service providers for the Fund such as Custodians, Fund Manager and Fund Administrator. This brief has positioned us as a key player in the arena of Retirement Benefits Law in Uganda.
Under the stewardship of our Alex Matovu, Racheal Kembabazi and Kansiime. M Taremwa, we advised Uganda’s Premier Business School on the recrafting of its human resource policies. It was a delicate project that required aligning the School’s Policies to its legal obligations under the Employment legal regime and those under the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act (UOTIA). This project also brought to the fore the delicate relationship between the employment laws and entities whose employees are typically under Uganda’s Public Service. We were able to develop a comprehensive manual to govern the potentially conflicting areas within the spectrum of employer-employee obligations within the context of a Public Higher Education Institution.