- Cabinet extends tripartite agreement to give private sector employees 50% of salary or Rs. 14,500
Cabinet has extended till March the agreement for private sector employees to be paid either 50% of the total salary or a minimum of Rs. 14,500.
The compromise was reached in May 2020 when the Government appealed to the private sector to avoid laying off people as a result of the COVID-induced economic slowdown. Under the new extension, the payment, which was earlier extended December, will now last until the end of the first quarter in 2021.
Initially the payments were to be made only for May and June. In early May, the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC), the trade unions, and the Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations reached a tripartite agreement to pro-rate wages based on varied levels of deployment of staff.
The agreement reached was on the basis that there can be a distinction between the payment of wages in respect of employees who performed work, and those who had to be ‘benched’ (without any work). This arrangement was aimed at addressing situations where companies will not be able to bring in the entire complement of the workforce due to restrictions that have been imposed (on account of health concerns).
The scheme was applied to pro-rate wages in respect of employees who cannot be deployed at work simultaneously due to health restrictions. Members were encouraged to rotate workers wherever possible and give as many opportunities as possible for employees to resume work and supplement their livelihoods under this scheme.