Jaffna employers ignoring EPF,ETF and labour contracts | Daily News

Jaffna employers ignoring EPF,ETF and labour contracts


Sri Lanka is one of the rare developing countries in the region that has had in place, by law, a pension and social safety net for workers. These two funds are called the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and the Employee Trust Fund (ETF), and employers are statutorily obligated to contribute to both.

The study in Jaffna revealed that for more than two-thirds of workers, their employers are not paying into the funds.This was disclosed by a recent study conducted by the Solidarity Center titled, “Workers in Post-Civil War Jaffna”.

It was compiled by Tim Ryan,Asia director, Solidarity Center. In Jaffna, 81 percent of workers across a range of professions have no written contract spelling out their working conditions; much less have an opportunity to engage in collective bargaining. 


Even more workers, 85%, were not aware there was a legally stipulated minimum wage, which in Jaffna is now Rs10,000 or only about $69 a month.”

Survey results demonstrate that the region’s female workforce experiences gender-specific consequences born of poor working conditions, weak enforcement of legal provisions and non-conformity with international labour standards.

The survey also found that 81 percent of workers work more than five days a week, in violation of national law, and the majority of people working extra hours were women.

This set of conditions in Jaffna and the Northern Province, creates an incredibly precarious situation for workers who are hoping to earn a livelihood that can sustain them and support their future.

While implementation of the labour code is problematic countrywide, unions outside of the north and east have a tradition of challenging employers and the government in court to ensure the law is fairly applied and provides some measure of remedy.

Trade unions, NGOs and international development partners can play a pivotal role in sensitizing the government and business community to their obligations under national and international labor standards, while alsoraising awareness among workers about their rights.







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