Understanding Employment Norms in Uganda: A Comprehensive Guide
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Hiring in Uganda? Read on to find out the employment norms (like taxes, payroll and benefits) and EOR (Employer on Record) norms in Uganda.

Employment Norms in Uganda

Uganda is a country in East Africa with a flourishing free market economy. Its economic freedom score of 54.2 makes it an ideal destination for business expansion in Africa. Although agriculture is its main source of GDP, you can expect economic blooms through investment in business sectors. Its low market competition supports financial success. But, beware of its employment norms as their violation can cause legal implications.

General Information:

  • The Uganda currency is the Ugandan shilling (UGX).
  • Kampala is the capital of Uganda
  • English and Swahili are spoken in Uganda. However, its official language is English.Documentation can be done in English and Swahili.
  • According to World Bank, the GDP of Uganda is USD 40.53 billion in 2021.
The Employment Act of 2006 guides employment norms in Uganda. It sets employment standards and provides labor laws applicable to all employees.
Uganda map

Table of Contents

  • Agreements
  • Onboarding Process
  • Visa
  • Minimum Wage
  • Payroll Cycle
  • Annual Bonus
  • Health Benefits
  • Working Hours and Overtime
  • Leaves
  • Social Security
  • Taxes for Employers
  • Taxes for Employees
  • Probation
  • Termination
  • Severance Pay
  • Employees or Contractors
  • Final Words


  • In Uganda, Contracts can be made either orally or in written form.
  • However, the employer must provide written contact before starting employment for it to be legally binding.
  • Contracts are binding upon both parties. Upon breach, they can be enforced through judicial bodies or Labour Office.
  • The terms and conditions of the agreement should comply with the Employment Act
  • In case of inconsistency with Ugandan labor law, the contract becomes null and void
  • The contract should specify employment duration, hours, and other terms and conditions.
  • There is no language specification in contract drafting. However, the most preferred language is English for documentation.
  • In Uganda, contracts are fixed-term, permanent, probationary, casual, and seasonal.
Onboarding Process

Onboarding Process

  • Unlike other countries, Uganda does not have specific laws regarding onboarding.
  • However, onboarding is advisable to make employees comfortable with the work environment.
  • During onboarding, employees may receive the necessary training required for the job.
  • Also, employees may be informed about workplace health and safety measures.
  • Certain companies in Uganda prefer Nondisclosure agreements and security and confidentiality agreements while onboarding new employees.
  • With legal assistance from EOR services, onboarding employees in Uganda can be more manageable.


Uganda has 3 types of Visas.


  • Uganda provides 3 types of electronic visas.
  • It applies to traveling, business handling, study purpose, and transit pass.

Diplomatic and Official Visa

  • It is granted to diplomats, consular, and other officials who visit Uganda for official or business purposes.

Multiple-Entry Visa

  • It is designed for people who often require to visit Uganda.
  • This visa can be obtained for 6, 12, or 24 months.

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Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage

Uganda has The standard minimum wage in Uganda is 6,000 Ugandan shillings per month.
Payroll Cycle

Payroll Cycle

In Uganda, the standardized payroll cycle is monthly.
Annual Bonus

Annual Bonus

In Uganda, payment of 13th-month pay or bonus is customary.
Health Benefits

Health Benefits

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2006 regulates health benefits and safety in Uganda.
  • A full-time employee of Uganda enjoys medical care and sickness benefits. However, health benefits vary depending on the employer and the type of work.
  • In Uganda, the Work compensation Act 2006 provisions compensation for industrial injuries
  • Similarly, Industrial death is compensated with 60 months' salary in Uganda.
  • For accidental disability, compensation depends on the degree of severity.
Working Hours and Overtime

Working Hours and Overtime

  • Work hours:In Uganda, the standard working hours are 8 hours per day, making 40 hours a week. The workweek is from Monday to Friday.
  • Break:According to Section 53(6) of the Employment Act, employees working more than 8 hours, enjoy a 30-minute break.
  • Overtime:In Uganda, Overtime payment is mandatory. An employee can work overtime for a maximum of 56 hours per week. Overtime work is compensated at 150% of the hourly rate. However, overtime work during gazetted holidays is compensated at 200% of the hourly rate.


Sick Leave

  • Employees can avail of 2 months of sick leave per year in Uganda.
  • The employer pays for the first month of leave, while the second month remains unpaid.

Parental leaves

  • Employees in Uganda can avail of maternity leave of 60 days. Out of which at least 28 days leave must be taken after child delivery. Employees receive 100% salary during maternity leave and this is paid by the employer.
  • 4 days of paternity leave is granted to fathers after the child's birth. The employer pays 100% of the salary for this tenure.

Annual leaves

  • Employees get 21 days of paid annual leaves. Paid time off is given to employees who have completed four months at their work.

Public Holidays (for the Calendar year 2023)

  • New Year's Day (1st January)
  • NRM Liberation day (26th January)
  • Archbishop Janani Luwum Say (16th February)
  • International Women's day (8th March)
  • Good Friday (7th April)
  • Easter Sunday (9th April)
  • Easter Monday (10th April)
  • Eid al-Fitr ( 21st April)
  • Labor Day (1st May)
  • Martyr's day (3rd June)
  • National Heroes' Day (9th June)
  • Eid al-Adha (28th June)
  • Independence Day (9th October)
  • Christmas Day (25th December)
  • Boxing Day (26th December)

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Social Security

Social Security

An employee contributes 5% towards social security while the contribution of the employer is 10%.
Taxes for Employers

Taxes for Employers

Uganda's employers must pay various taxes, including income tax, social security contributions, and payroll taxes. Generally, the employer's tax is about 10.30% of the employee's salary.

Employer payroll tax

  • National Social Security Fund- 10%
  • Workman's compensation insurance- 0.30%

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Taxes for Employees

Taxes for Employees

Income tax in Uganda is charged progressively. The tax rate ranges from 0-30% in Uganda and it is different for residents and non-residents.
The progressive tax rate for Residents in Uganda is as follows.
  • UGX 0- 2,820,000: 0%
  • UGX 2,820,001 - 4,020,000: 10%
  • UGX 4,020,001 - 4,920,000: 20%
  • UGX 4,920,001 - 120,000,000: 30%
  • UGX 120,000,001 & above: 40%
The progressive tax rate for non-residents in Uganda is as follows.
  • UGX 0 - 4,020,000 - 10%
  • UGX 4,020,001 - 4,920,000 - 20%
  • UGX 4,920,001 - 120,000,000 - 30%
  • UGX above 120,000,001 - 40%
Employee Payroll Tax
  • National Social Security Fund- 5%


The probationary period for employees is 6 months.

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  • In Uganda, termination is guided by the terms and conditions of the contract.
  • A contract can be terminated voluntarily by the employee and upon mutual consent. It can also get terminated due to the expiry of the contract.
  • There is no provision for will-termination by the employer in Uganda.
  • The notice period of termination depends on the length of the contract.
  • 6-12 months = 2 weeks
  • 12 months- 5 years = 1 month
  • 5-10 years = 2 months
  • Above 10 years = 3 months
Severance Pay

Severance Pay

  • The contractual agreement in Uganda determines the severance pay.
  • However, severance pay is given to the employee who has continuously worked for at least 6 months.
Employees or Contractors

Employees or Contractors

  • In Uganda, people can be hired as employees or contractors.
  • Employees and contractors enjoy different facilities and have separate legal provisions.
  • Misclassifying employees and contractors can lead to legal implications and penalties.
  • In Uganda, the misclassification of employees and contractors is investigated by Uganda Revenue Authority to ensure compliance with tax law.
Final Words

Final Words

Employment Norms in Uganda are complex due to various legal procedures and implications. Besides, violating employment and labor norms can cause penalties under Employment Act. Thus, consulting a legal advisor or EOR services is ideal before starting a business in Uganda.

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