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[ Questions and Answers]
Payment of Gratuity
Question: I worked in a firm from 01/06/92 to 30/04/07 -14 years.
The salary paid to me - when I left the firm is - Basic Rs. 15,000 +
Living Allowance Rs. 25,000 = totally Rs. 40,000. When I claimed for my
gratuity the management paid only Rs. 60,000 in instalments as follows:
Between 30/04/07 - 30/04/08 = 30,000.00 (Three instalments @ 10,000)
After 30/04/08 = 30,000 (One payment)
Total = Rs. 60,000.00
Please let me know what is the balance gratuity money (including the
default charges - after one year) the employer will have to pay me.
S. Sumangala - Jothie, Trincomalee
Answer: You should take up your matter with the Labour Department in
the area where your employer's office is, without any delay. You are
entitled to half months salary for every year of service as gratuity. In
our estimation you are entitled to about Rs. 105,000 (14 years x 7500)
of which they have paid your Rs. 60,000.
Thus there is a balance due to you of Rs. 45,000. In our estimation
we have only taken the salary of Rs. 15,000 per month and not the
allowances. Gratuity is not payable on cost of living allowance but we
are not sure of the nature of your allowance. This you may clarify with
the Labour officer.
Appeal to Labour Tribunal
Question: I was a permanent employee with more than 10 years service
in a large Company down South.
A labour dispute of mine, when it was taken up with the Labour
Commissioner, after my retirement, was decided in favour of the
employer. However, I am not satisfied with the said order.
Please let me know whether,
a. I can file a case at the Labour Tribunal, on the same dispute,
within six (6) months;
b. and if I do so, whether it will become unfavourable for me in lieu
of the earlier decision of Labour Department.
I would like to have your advise through the valuable "Question and
Answer" Page in the Daily News.
R. Waduge, Kalutara.
Answer: Yes you can take up your case with the Labour Tribunal but
you have to do it within six months from the date of termination. The
Labour Tribunal will go through as a fresh case. The decision of the
Labour Commissioner will not be considered unfavourable.
The purpose of going to the Labour Tribunal is lost if they are to be
guided by any previous decision. Therefore, you can be assured that the
Labour Tribunal will hold a fair hearing and give a decision. Labour
Tribunal only entertains cases of termination of service and any dispute
over gratuity payment. In your case there must have been a good reason
why the Labour Commissioner gave a ruling in favour of your employer.
Payment of a month's salary in lieu of Notice
Question: I am working as the Administration Manager in a private
limited liability company. I joined them on nine months probation and at
the end of the probationary period they extended it by another three
months. That also ended on June 9, 2009. On June 19 they gave me a
contract for 1 year and with a reduction of my salary by 40%. Since I
did not have any other option I accepted the employment on contract
basis for a lesser salary.
As per the contract, I have to give one month's notice or salary in
lieu of notice.
1. If I want to resign now, can I deduct my EPF contribution of 8%
and pay the balance amount to the Company?
2. If I pay total amount (1 month's salary) without deducting the 8%
will the Company be liable to pay 12% contribution for EPF for that
I appreciate a reply by email at your earliest.
Roshan Perera, Email:Address.
Answer: If as per your terms of contract you have to give a moth's
notice it is best that you give notice. However, if you are unable to
give the months notice you are not legally bound to pay a months salary.
However, you may do so in order to have good relationship if in case you
require a certificate of service. The labour regulation does not support
the employee having to pay back a month's salary to the employer. In
case you decide to pay the one months salary, you cannot deduct the 8%
EPF contribution. Your employer must contribute the 12% and forward to
the EPF along with your 8% contribution for that month.
Sorry we do not reply emails but provide answers only through the
Daily News papers OPA At Your Service column on Thursdays.
Question: My son and family migrated to Canada as they got Permanent
residency a few years back. Now they are qualified for Canadian
Citizenship. They are keen to get a Dual Passport and it's believed it
will entail a lot of money. However, recently with the war ending, I
understand the Government of Sri Lanka has reduced the fees payable to
obtain a dual passport.
Please advise, the present charges payable to obtain it.
John Fernando, Wattala.
Answer: What you mean by Dual Passport is Dual Citizenship. Once you
get Dual Citizenship your son and his family can apply for the Sri
Lankan Passport. In order to obtain the Canadian Passport they may have
to surrender the Sri Lankan Passport or get them cancelled. Usually in
order to get Citizenship in any country, one has to renounce the Sri
Lankan Citizenship. Only then you can get Citizenship of the foreign
country. Once you get the Citizenship of the foreign country, you can
apply for Dual Citizenship to Sri Lanka your country of birth.
You have been misinformed about the reduction of fees payable to
obtain dual citizenship. We checked with the Department and we were
informed that there is no change and they are not aware of any move to
change it either. The fees as they stand now are as follows.
For your son Rs. 200,000, for his spouse and children under 18 years
of age it is Rs. 50,000, children over 18 years of age it is Rs.
W&OP scheme for retired lady teacher
Question: I am a graduate teacher who held a pensionable post and
served in Government School (Vishaka Vidyalaya, Col. 4) for 32 years, I
joined my service in 1963, after graduation from the University of
Peradeniya and retired in December 1995 after completing 32 years in
service. I have not contributed to the W&OP scheme earlier hence I wish
to join it now. Could you please be kind enough to let me know as to
what I should do as I am clueless regarding this matter. Sir, in case of
my death before my husband, could you please advice me as to how he can
enjoy the benefits.
Mrs. S. Senanayake, Colombo 5.
Answer: You may refer the Daily News paper of Thursday, May 7, 2009
in the OPA at your Service page a similar question titled 'Option for
female teacher to join W and OP and the answer therein. Since you were a
teacher in a government school and have joined the service before, 1st
August, 1983, you still have the option of joining the W&OP even though
you have retired now. You have to apply before June 30, 2009, in order
to enroll yourself.
You have to write to the Zonal Director of Education of the area
where you served last indicating your wish/desire to join the W&OP Fund.
You also need to give a letter to the Divisional Secretary from whose
office you are now drawing your pension stating that you wish the
monthly instalment for the W&OP Fund to be deducted from your pension
and get it approved.
You will be called upon to contribute for 15 years equivalent to 180
months/instalments from the date you join the W&OP.
In case of your demise before the completion of 15 years and pre
decease your spouse, he will have to pay upfront the balance number of
instalments before he can commence enjoying the W&OP benefit.
Tax Free Ceiling
Question: I have savings accounts in the NSB, and Bank of Ceylon. I
also have a fixed deposit in a private enterprise. I am a senior citizen
and if my total income exceeds Rs. 300,000 am I liable for tax payment?
Or is the ceiling on tax Rs. 500,000? (Free of Tax).
Thanking you for an early reply.
Dr. E.S.N. de Silva, Hendala, Wattala.
Answer: Yes for senior citizens the tax free interest income per year
is Rs. 500,000, if the assessable other income if any is below Rs.
300,000 per year.
In your case you have deposits in both State Banks and in private
Institution. If your interest income from the Private institution is
below Rs. 300,000 per year, then you are exempted from tax on the
balance Rs. 200,000 interest received from the State Banks.
If the interest from the Private Institution is more than Rs. 300,000
then that excess amount will be less as tax free from State Banks. In
any case are you sure that you don't get assessable income of over Rs.
300,000 per year, other than from interest, we mean from your
profession. You should consult a tax officer with all details.
Renewal of Identity Card
Question: My identity card bearing Nos.
363480225V became unreadable due to the ink fading away. I
met the Grama Niladhari of Borella South who gave me a form
to fill up, which on completion, he took promising to send
the form to the relevant authorities along with the original
of my birth certificate and the original of the disfigured
Identity card. He tore a piece of the form I submitted, a
copy of which is attached, and a copy of my old ID no.
363480225 V. It is nearly 10 months now and I am still
awaiting for a replacement of my ID. Do they want such a
long time to issue a replacement? I shall thank you kindly
grant me some redress in this matter.
W.A.A. Wijeyaratne, Colombo 8.
Answer: We checked with the Department of
Registration of Persons at Jawatta Road. According to them
your application Ref. CA 911871 was forwarded to them by the
Divisional Secretary's office at Thimbirigasyaya.
Accordingly, your new Identity card No. 363480225 V has been
sent by post in April 2009 to the Thimbirigasyaya Divisional
Secretariat. You may inform your Grama Niladhari to check on
it or you can personally check at the Thimbirigasyaya
Divisional Secretary's office by taking the receipt CA
911871 along with you.