Legal Overhaul

Mar 28, 2012 (LBO) – An overwhelming majority of Sri Lankan employers have asked for changes in the island’s labour laws, saying they are archaic and actually hinder employment creation and growth. “We firmly believe labour regulation needs an overhaul in line with changes taking place today,” Peiris said.

“We do not propose a hire and fire framework which would inevitably be disastrous.

“We always told the government that highly inflexible labour laws need to be replaced by a basic legal framework of labour protection with room for flexibility in contractual arrangements, work force size, working times and functions.” Although Sri Lanka adopted free market policies in 1977, the current labour regulatory framework consists of labour laws which there before when industry was heavily protected through stringent import substitution, an official said.

“So it is paradoxical for such laws to remain on the statute books and for us to expect investment and employment generation,” said Ravi Peiris, director general of the Employer’s Federation of Ceylon (EFC).

“What’s extremely important is to ensure we strike the correct balance between efficiency and equity,” he told a news conference t