Private Sector warned they must give paid leave for employees to vote at August 5 polls

File photo of polling booth

ECONOMYNEXT-The Elections Commission has issued a statement regarding the granting of leave for private-sector employees so that they can cast their votes for the Parliamentary Elections to be held on 5 August.

Accordingly, the Commission says the employer is mandated to grant paid leave to the employees to cast their votes depending on the distance between the polling centre and the workplace.

If the distance between the polling centre and the workplace is less than 40 Km then the employee will be entitled to half-day leave, if it is between 40 km to 100 km then one day leave, if between 100 Km to 150 Km then one and half days leave and if more than 150 Km two days leave.

Also, the commission states since there would be instances where it would take three days to cast the vote due to the distance between the polling centre and workplace, the employer would have to give three days of leave depending on such situations.

Further, the Commission states that they had received a number of complaints about different types of embarrassments caused by employers for those who offered to avail these facilities during the last elections.

They were:

  1. Not accepting requests for leave to vote.
  2. Not giving enough time to be able to vote.
  3. Failure to pay for approved holiday
  4. Inform the applicants to submit written evidence or official poll card received by post in order to confirm that they are voters.
  5. Warning that he/she will not be granted leave to vote and he/she may lose his job due to leaving the workplace for that purpose

The Commission also added that not granting leave requested by an employee for the purpose is an offence that can be prosecuted before the Magistrate Court and punished. (Colombo/July13/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe