Minister Lokuge briefs ILO forum on national HR and employment policy, work plan
Saturday, 7 June 2014 00:09
Minister of Labour and Labour Relations Gamini Lokuge has said that Sri Lanka prepared a comprehensive National Human Resource and Employment Policy and Work Plan after having had extensive discussions with all relevant stakeholders including trade unions and employer representatives with the blessing of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Minister Lokuge made this observation at the Plenary of the 103rd Session of the International Labour Conference on 4 June.
Lokuge said global labour migration will be one of the most important determinants of migration in the coming years and in turn will be greatly influenced by migration. In that context he expressed Sri Lanka’s congratulations and appreciation to the ILO Director General for his impressive and thoughtful report in which he has suggested 8 initiatives to be implemented for fair migration.
“In achieving objectives of fair migration, Sri Lanka recognizes the importance of tripartism, coherence, and standards,” the Minister said. “I also would like to appreciate the ILO for having undertaken general survey and submission of its report to the ILC on Minimum wage fixing mechanism. The report includes valuable information,” he added.
Minister said Sri Lanka has minimum wage fixing mechanism for private sector workers what is called as Wages Boards. In order to simplify the process of wage fixing mechanism and to introduce common wage policy for the entire workforce, the Government of Sri Lanka recently established the national pay Commission. He said the information of this report would be useful for the pay Commission in its preliminary work.
“Employment is crucial for socio-economic development. Specially, since we are in the post crisis period, issues relating to employment and its situation need to be addressed and evaluated. Hence, I do appreciate the Governing Body of the ILO for having selected recurrent discussion on Employment as the follow up to the ILO declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization. This declaration called for member states of the ILO to pursue policies based on the strategic objectives namely, Employment, Social protection, social dialogue and fundamental principles and rights at work,” Lokuge said.
Accordingly, Sri Lanka prepared a comprehensive National Human Resource and Employment Policy and its Work plan after having had extensive discussions with all relevant stakeholders including trade unions and employer representatives with the blessing of President Rajapaksa.
Lokugea thanked the extensive support and fullest cooperation extended by the ILO through its technical cooperation.
Since ILC was discussing on facilitating transitions from informal to formal economy as a standard setting item as well, Minister said most of the developing countries have large informal economies. “In Sri Lanka it is about more than 60%. The workers in the informal economy suffer without decent work. Therefore, measures need to be taken in order to protect their rights of employment,” he added.
“I believe that standard setting along is not sufficient to formalize the informal economy because; it deals with economic structure and level of economic development. Therefore, it is necessary to create an enabling environment for them to come out from the informal to formal. Providing financial assistance, infrastructure facilities, information on available market places, upgrading business knowledge and skills and supporting to establish cooperatives to gain benefits of the economies of scale are very important in this regard,” Minister Lokuge said.