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Take a lesson from Nepal


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Panellists former DG of the EFC, International Labour Organization Employers Organisations in East Asia Senior Specialist and Department of Labour Chief Legal Officer Franklyn Amarasinghe, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka President Jagath Perera, Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Director General Kanishka Weerasinghe, Sri Lanka Free Workers’ Union General Secretary Lesley Devendra, Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association Chairman Felix Fernando, International Labour Organization Chief Technical Advisor Thomas Kring and employment specialist and Executive Search Managing Director Fayaz Saleem and moderator ICC Sri Lanka Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody

Franklyn Amarasinghe, formerly DG of the EFC, speaking at the seminar on ‘Making Employment Laws Conducive for Investment in Sri Lanka’ noted that Nepal is the only south Asian country which has been able to bring in some progressive labour market reforms to labour laws. 

The new laws have flexibility as well as security. Concepts such as part time employment, task based work that are critical to Sri Lanka have been legally recognised. Outsourcing is possible subject to certain conditions. 

Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Director General Kanishka Weerasinghe said that these new laws were formulated by trade unions and employers having direct dialogue without government involvement. Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka the panellists noted the trade unions, the private sector and the political parties have their own battles and have not been able to get the changes through yet, though much progress have been made on several fronts. 

The panellists noted the need to identify some critical changes (working hours, part time work, and outsourcing) that are required and deliver them.

Panellists were former DG of the EFC, International Labour Organization Employers Organisations in East Asia Senior Specialist and Department of Labour Chief Legal Officer Franklyn Amarasinghe, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka President Jagath Perera,  Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Director General Kanishka Weerasinghe, Sri Lanka Free Workers’ Union General Secretary Lesley Devendra, Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association Chairman Felix Fernando, International Labour Organization Chief Technical Advisor Thomas Kring and employment specialist and Executive Search Ltd. Managing Director Fayaz Saleem. ICC Sri Lanka Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody moderated the session.


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