ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka needs to protect its daily wage earners and domestic workers, and allow them to join retirement funds such as the EPF and ETF, and access other worker benefits, Labor Minister Manusha Nanayakkara said on Wednesday (15).
“We suggested a social security system for all working people,” Nanayakkara said at an event titled ‘Garu Saru’ where he met with domestic workers.
“We did the necessary preliminary work and we have even obtained the necessary basic approvals.”
Sri Lanka’s Employees’ Provident Fund and Employees’ Trust Fund have only around 2.5 million contributors.
The minister said that private sector workers and public servants both had retirement schemes and benefits.
“But there are about 5 to 6 million people working in the country who are not employed in either of these sectors. These people have nothing like pension or gratuity, or paid leave,” he said.
“Everyone works while they can. People who are engaged in informal sectors like housekeepers, mason workers and wage workers will work until their hands and feet are able to. After that, they will lose their safeguards and financial security.”
Many people in the country find employment in the informal sector, he said but gratuity and pension schemes are not available in domestic work.
“The purpose of this program is to give dignity to people engaged in all professions in this country, especially the people in the informal sector.” (Colombo/Nov16/2023)