ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will make contributions to superannuation funds mandatory for informal workers including domestic aides, plumbers, security guards under a planned new labour law, Minister of Labour Manusha Nanayakkara said.
“The Employment Act we plan to introduce will make it mandatory to pay domestic aides EPF and ETF,” Manusha Nanayakkara, Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment told parliament Friday.
“There are only 2.4 million workers contributing to the EPF now.” Under the new Act, “anyone who is employed will need to contribute to the EPF and ETF,” Nanayakkara said.
Household employees, along with certain social service organizations and charity organizations with less than ten (10) employees, are exempted from contributing to the EPF currently.
It is not clear whether independent workers like plumbers will have to contribute on their own.
Sri Lanka’s Labour Department currently had no figures on the number of people working as domestic aides in Sri Lanka, Minister Nanayakkara said.
“We will look at workers’ health and safety requirements, skill levels, and provide a license in all employment fields. We will introduce a practitioner license for every job,” he said.
“Whether they are domestic aides, plumbers, spa workers, etc, they will all need to have a license that is required to be renewed each year by a council.
“The new Job Act will ensure they are all regulated.”
The vocational training authority is in talks with the Labour Ministry on how best to do this, he said.
Nanayakkara said the government wanted to regularize informal workers and ensure there is ‘dignity of labour’.
The new Act will also ensure that there are laws to ensure their health and safety at work, he said. (Colombo/September08/2023)