Informal work pressing employment challenge for Sri Lanka, study says

ECONOMYNEXT – Informal work is growing in Sri Lanka, posing challenges to workers and enterprises and the government should review and enforce laws to cover all workers, a new study has said. 

Despite recent economic gains and the advances in reducing poverty and inequality, Sri Lanka’s economy is undergoing some informalization, according to the joint study by Asian Development Bank and International Labour Organization.

This trend is “posing a major challenge to workers’ welfare and their rights to decent work, and negatively impacting enterprises, public revenues, and the soundness of institutions and fair competition,” it said.

“Therefore, one of the most pressing employment challenges that Sri Lanka is facing is transitioning from informality to formality.”

This ADB-ILO study proposes undertaking an assessment and diagnostic study to determine the characteristics, causes, and circumstances of informality in Sri Lanka’s national context.

“The government would also need to adopt, review, and enforce national laws and regulations to ensure appropriate coverage and protection of all categories of workers, whether they are in the formal or the informal sector,” it said.

Such policies and regulations need to be included in national development strategies and plans as well as in poverty reduction strategies in order to ensure coherence and coordination across levels and entities of government.
(COLOMBO, December 19, 2017)

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