Our Employment and Human Resource practice team provides advice and assistance in connection with workforce mobility and management. We advise corporate clients on regulatory and legal aspects of employment law and enable our clients to be legally compliant. We are actively involved in drafting and/or reviewing employment documentation and advising on a wide range of labour law issues, including restructuring, collective terminations, transfer of employees and employment termination. We also advice on employment issues arising at the time of corporate restructuring, including mergers and acquisitions, setting up of retirement benefits and pension schemes, outsourcing initiatives and reductions-in-force.
Our offering includes a range of innovative tools and services to help meet clients’ needs on HR-related matters, such as bespoke training, regular legal bulletins and other value-added services. We adopt a practical and business-focused approach in advising clients, so that the human resources and talent retention strategy of clients is implemented in the most effective manner, in compliance with the applicable laws and the ethics of the organization.
Our bespoke services include;
- Employment Strategy and Documentation:
We assist clients in their overall strategy for recruiting and retaining employees. This involves drafting and reviewing employment documentation including 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 reconcile the 'at-will' employment and 'work-for-hire' concepts with Uganda laws. The team has conducted a number of HR training for both employers, government departments, law reform bodies and delivered bespoke seminars with different professional bodies including Law Society membership and private Universities.
- Company Policies / Employee Handbook:
Signum Advocates has bespoke skillset in drafting and reviewing customized Employee Handbooks and Human Resource manuals to suit the requirements of the clients and in compliance with the labour laws in Uganda. The handbook is structured to incorporate precise detailed clauses on standard employment practices.
- Routine employment Law Advisory:
We also advise our clients on applicability of labour Laws, the obligations and compliances thereunder, and the consequences of non-compliance, issues related to local content obligations, provident fund contributions, payment of gratuity, payment of bonus, superannuation/retirement benefits, termination of employment and other numerous obligations of the employer introduced by the 2006 Labour law regime.
- Employment Litigation & Dispute Resolution:
Whilst a few years back employment litigation was not very prevalent, the scenario is undergoing rapid change in Uganda especially after the introduction of 2006 labour law regime and establishment of the Labour office and Industrial Court.
Our team has successfully represented several clients in employment litigation cases from labour office to the highest appellate courts. Our service includes advising clients on the litigation strategy limiting financial exposure, drafting and issuing legal notices, responding to legal notices, drafting claim documents, representing clients before Labour Office and Industrial Court, and coordinating with the user departments to pursue litigation in the appropriate courts across Uganda so as to control reputational damage and to limit the risk of financial exposure. We also manage disciplinary hearing processes so as to minimize any residual litigation.
- Employment Termination & Downsizing:
Uganda does not envisage an “at-will' employment relationship. We therefore advise clients on strategies for employment termination, downsizing and reduction in force. This includes advising on applicable employment laws, apart from guidance on regulatory compliance requirements.
We understand that the interest of the employer should be well secured in the event of termination of the employee's employment, for which purpose we ensure that clauses on confidentiality, postemployment non-solicitation, data protection are adequately drafted as well reducing the risk financial exposure in the event of protracted litigation.
- Human Resource Audit (Legal):
We conduct periodic labour Law 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. It also includes review of the employment-related documentation and the policy and procedure manual of the employers, especially with respect to such issues as confidentiality, assignment of intellectual property and non-competition.
The legal Human Resource audit enables us to suggest measures for legal process re-engineering.