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Sri Lanka private sector mulls Rs10,000 minimum wage

EconomyNext – Sri Lanka’s employer groups have agreed to consider a government request to raise wages of the private sector, with a minimum wage of 10,000 rupees, after a state-sector pay hike given in the recent government budget, officials said.

Government spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said employers had agreed "in principle" to raise salaries by 15-35 percent of employees coming under the Wages Boards based on the profitability of their companies.

For employees outside the Wages Boards, the employer groups has agreed to consider a pay hike of 15 percent, again based on company profitability, he said.

Senaratne said the minimum wage of many private sector employees was now 7,000 rupees.

Employers Federation of Ceylon Deputy Director General Kanishka Weerasinghe said the Wages Boards will be summoned next week.

"The government suggested we go through the Wages Boards mechanism. A decision will be taken by the respective Wages Boards after discussing the proposals."

It will be done through a "tripartite mechanism" consisting of the EFC and other industry employer groups, trade unions representing employees and government nominees.

The government’s January 29 budget Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the salaries of state employees will be raised by 10,000 rupees during 2015, with half given in February and the balance by June.

He also asked private sector businesses to consider raising pay by 2,500 rupees.

Karunanayake said companies would be better placed to give the pay hike after fuel price cuts that reduced costs to private business.





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