Experts and policy analysts have expressed concern over companies that donated a lot of money to the fight against Covid-19 and then laid off workers.
The remarks were made during an e-dialogue on the promotion of responsible business for economic recovery.
The discussion was featured on NBS TV on July 31.
“Companies spend a lot of money to enhance their brands. Shockingly, a business will offer Shs 500 million to fight covid 19 and lay off 200 workers,” Arnold Kwesiga, coordinator, Uganda Consortium on Corporate Accountability, said.
“You don’t lay off workers and give a billion to the task force to help everybody. We have politicized the Covid-19 response. There is a lot of money being donated but how does the money trickle down to the people suffering?”
Constance Kekihembo, the chief executive officer of Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL), said women are economically stressed due to the pandemic noting that there is a lot of unpaid work that women have to attend to like looking after children.
Kekihembo said the labour that happens at home should be redistributed so that women have a chance to go and make money.
“Women have been encouraged to join the informal sector that has been most hit by the pandemic. Most women are not conversant with digital marketing which has reduced their income. Gender-based violence has escalated during the lockdown,”she said.
Experts said covid-19 has made us discover an opportunity to import substitution stating that there is a very serious creativity and innovation coming up like e-marketing.
According to the commissioner Labour, Productivity and Industrial relations in the ministry of Gender, Alex Asiimwe, Covid-19 has affected employees and employers in equal measure.
“Some businesses are struggling to survive yet others are making profits.Many have lost jobs and there are also salary cuts which have negative impacts,”he said.
He noted that productivity has gone down because of curfew while others have been forced to work from home.