The Cabinet has approved the proposal submitted by Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara to amend the Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Act No. 19 of 1954.
The amendment aims to enable women in IT-based jobs to work on international hours and work at night.
Many business institutions such as Knowledge Process Outsourcing institutions, Business Process Outsourcing institutions, Back Office and ICT enabling Services have emerged in the country around major cities. According to the nature of those institutions, the employees working there have to work according to the time of other countries.
However, according to the Act, women can be employed after 6 p.m. only in a limited number of employments. Therefore, it has been identified that the existing restrictive legal provisions on night work of women should be amended.
Under the existing law, a woman over the age of 18 was allowed to work until 8 p.m. and there was a limited space to work at night only in a limited range such as airports, hotels, restaurants and clubs.
The legal restrictions existed for female employees on working at night will be removed to allow the employees in IT-based businesses, knowledge and business process outsourcing organisations, offices that conduct accounts, administrative and technical work of business organisations located abroad to work according to the employer’s time.
Thereby, female workers who are above 18 years of age in those fields can be employed before 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
This amendment will remove the legal obstacles in the labour law to the employment of women workers at night and it is also expected that the participation of women in the workforce in this country will further grow.