Is the ‘Agreement’ between the Minister of Labour, The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon and other Unions
Ms. Rhadeen de Alwis
We have been made aware byway of press conferences and newspaper articles regarding an ‘Agreement’ that had been reached on 4th May 2020. The said decisions are pursuant to inter alia several representations made by Employers across industries/businesses and further to representations made by The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon1 [“EFC”] by its letter dated 25th April 20202. [Caveat: The Ministry of Labour has not as at 16th May 2020 published the said ‘Agreement’ in any form]. The said ‘Agreement’ proceeds on the basis of a submission addressed to the Hon. Minister of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations, where the Task Force set up to look into the effects of the pandemic on employment related matters in Sri Lanka which functions under the aegis of the Hon.Minister reached these decisions acting together with the EFC and other Trade Unions.
The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon [“EFC”] based on the aforesaid, has by its Circular No:31/2020 [a news item in respect of same is found on the EFC Website3] addressed to the membership of the EFC, apprised its membership of a discussion between the Hon. Minister of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations and states that the said discussion was concluded on 4th May 2020 having finalised the payment of wages on a pro-rated basis which draws a distinction between the payment of wages in respect of employees who performed work and those who had to be ‘benched’ (i.e. did not have any work or the employer could not offer work).
[For the schemes detailed in the Circular as having formed part of the Tripartite ‘Agreement’ is annexed hereto at the end of this Article]