Low pay for Sri Lankan security guards hits key industries

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Private security guards are among the lowest paid workers in Sri Lanka, earning less than 1,000 rupees a day, leading to low morale and high turnover that affect key economic sectors, an association said.

The Sri Lanka Security Providers Association said salaries of security guards were now lower than that of gardeners and carpenters.

“Our security industry has been suffering from the effects of a situation that is fast spiraling out of control,” SLASSPA President Tissa Aluwihare said in a statement.

“It is a vicious cycle where an increasing shortage of personnel, combined with low fees paid by clients, unilateral fee deductions and low salaries paid to security personnel has resulted in an industry which is now lacking in morale and initiative.”

Aluwihare said this “vicious cycle” has left its mark on the industry, with increasing deterioration of service performance on ground, resulting in losses impacting cost of production and competitiveness of key Sri Lankan industries such as tea, garments and cement.

He said the association welcomed a move by the government to mandate a salary increase for all private sector employees which will result in the basic salary of security guards being raised by 2,500 rupees a month.

The raise is to be dispersed in two instalments, 1,500 rupees being effective immediately and 1,000 rupees from 1st January 2016.


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