Holidays and Work

Holidays and Work in Uganda, Holidays and Wages and Pay in Uganda, Public Holidays and Salaries and more on AfricaPay Uganda.

What is a public holiday?

This is a holiday or vacation which is set up by the national authorities of states or through worldwide agreements and is thus advised to be a non-working day. It is generally intended for celebrations, such as the celebration of an important happening like Uganda’s National Heroes’ Day, worldwide recognition of certain groups like the International Labour Day meant for workers, or devout commemorations like Christmas or Eid al-Aduha.

Can a boss engage employees on a public holiday?

Yes. However, a boss cannot force a worker to do a task on a public vacation against the employee’s will. In case the employer would like to engage an employee to perform any given task (s) on a public vacation, it should be by mutual permission. The employer should talk about the matter with the employee regarding the issue of payment for work done on the public vacation.

Should an employer pay extra cash for work done on a public holiday?

Yes. In the case of public vacations, a worker must be paid two times the normal pay rate. For example, if the normal pay rate is UGX 3, 000 per hour, it is double on a public holiday: 2 x 3, 000= UGX 6,000 per hour. The law says that an employee should always be paid the double rate for work on a public holiday, even when a worker has agreed to work that day.

Authorised public holidays in Uganda encompass the following:

  • New Year’s Day - 01 January
  • NRM Liberation Day - 26 January
  • International Women’s Day - 8 March
  • Good Friday (exact day varies)
  • Easter Monday (exact day varies)
  • Labour Day - 1May
  • Martyrs’ Day – 3 June
  • National Heroes’ Day – 9 June
  • Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan, exact day varies)
  • Independence Day – 9 October
  • Eid al-Aduha (Feast of the Sacrifice, exact day varies) 
  • Christmas Day - 25 December
  • Boxing Day – 26 December

What more should a boss know about public vacations?

  • Public vacations are not included in the twenty one (21) leave days of a worker which are provided by law, so an employer should not substitute one for the other.
  • All jobs done on public vacations are additional work and not part of the usual work.
  • It is not compulsory for a worker to engage in work on public holidays.
  • All jobs done by workers on public holidays should be paid for by the boss at twice the usual rate.
  • Public vacations will not be substituted with weekends or any other days of rest for the workers.