Seminar on contemporary labour related issues
Daily News
14 Aug 2015

The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) conducted a Training Seminar on August 5, 2015 on contemporary labour related issues which affects businesses, especially export enterprises in Colombo.

The seminar was well attended with 65 participants from export enterprises.

The Chamber organized this seminar as a result of representations received from several member companies regarding contemporary Labour Related Issues which adversely affects their enterprises.

As a result of the lack of awareness and adequate knowledge of the various aspects related to these issues export enterprises have had to incur heavy legal expenses and other difficulties.

The Resource Speakers were from the Department of Labour and Labour relations.

Provisions under the Industrial Disputes Act and Measures related to collective bargaining, Provisions under the EPF / ETF Acts, Provisions under the Gratuity Act, Provisions under the Wages Board Act and the Shop & Office Act, were the topics covered The following Resource speakers addressed the participants.P.S. Pathiratne - Senior Legal Advisor Department of Labour and PriyanthaVidanapathirana - Legal Officer - Department of Labour, Kamal Amarasinghe - Legal Officer - Department of Labour, MilangaWeerakkody - Deputy Commissioner - Labour - Department of Labour, The folowing aspects related to Labour Regulations were addressed and clarified to participants

The importance of EPF & ETF Contributions and the statutory obligations of employers.

The lack of awareness of Labour Regulations leading to industrial disputes and the importance of reducing claims made by employees through mutual understanding and negotiations for resolution of issues, Structure and content of the Wages Board Act,The difference between the Shop and Office Act and the Wages Board Act, The extent of fines and penalties imposed on employers by the Labour Department due to violation of Labour Laws, and specifically relating to default of Statutory Payments such as EPF and ETF.

It was mentioned that the penalties and surcharges were imposed as a result of default of statutory payments was equivalent to employer's obtaining loans on high interest, The importance of employers making use of publications of the LabourDepartment on various labour related matters.

In regard to the surcharges and penalties imposed on employers by the Labour Department some participants were of the view that the Labour Department should discuss with the concerned employers, the surcharges and penalties that are imposed, without imposing such surcharges and penalties on an automatic basis. They were also critical of the nature of the investments made by State Authorities of EPF and ETF Funds.