‘Only 15 out of 40 employment laws in regular use’ | Daily News

‘Only 15 out of 40 employment laws in regular use’

Sri Lanka has over 40 laws that relate to employment, of which only about 15 are in regular use.

Most are dated before independence or shortly thereafter and many are outdated, Shyamali Ranarajah- Attorney at law (Pictured) said.

Sri Lanka’s labour reforms must be led by the highest level of government whilst stakeholders must have a seat at the discussions for labour reforms.

Moreover, Ranarajah said dispute resolution mechanisms must be made efficient, productive and must not become a barrier or a hindrance to growth and employment creation, she opined.

“System of dispute resolution is insufficient and time consuming. Employers bear the total responsibility for social security in the absence of a universal system which include Gratuity , EPF ETF, maternity benefits and severance pay,” Ranarajah told the ‘Reform now Conference’ which was held under the theme , ‘ Let’s Reset Sri Lanka’, hosted by Advocata Institute at the BMICH.

Noting that labour market reforms are much needed for more inclusive growth in the country , she spoke on major reasons as to why previous labour reforms have failed in Sri Lanka. She cited lack of political will for genuine reforms as one of the major obstacles in the country.

According to her labour law reforms have at times been used for political advantages. Noting that the government also lacks technical capacity to drive the reform discussion, she said lack of cohesion, lack of trust between employers and trade union, lack of a centralized trade union structure that prevent the participation of consolations on reforms are other major reasons among failed labour reforms in Sri Lanka.

She added that trade unions resort to political patronage to block reform despite only a very small percentage of the labour force being unionized.

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