Labour Dept. to introduce minimum retirement age for private sector

14 November 2019 08:36 am - 6     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Department of Labour plans to introduce a minimum retirement age for Sri Lanka’s private sector employees after the presidential elections.

“I have already prepared a Cabinet paper to submit to the Cabinet following the presidential elections to determine the minimum retirement age for private-sector employees. However, it has to be discussed at National Labour Advisory Council,” Labour Department Commissioner General R.P.A. Wimalaweera said.

He was speaking at a discussion forum themed ‘Defying Retirement at 55 Years’ organised by the National Human Resources Development Council of Sri Lanka (NHRDC) together with Mead Johnson Nutrition, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) and the International Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ICCSL).

Although a minimum retirement age exists for state-sector employees, Wimalaweera pointed out that there is no such a minimum retirement age for private-sector employees. He also noted that most private firms, except for large companies, don’t include the age of retirement in employment contract agreements.

“However, most private-sector employees retire at age of 55 in order claim their retirement benefits (EPF) and then re-join as contract employees on a temporary basis,” he said. Wimalaweera stressed that low labour force participation should be a bigger concern as the country’s future labour force will have to support the rapidly ageing population.

“By 2045, the population above the age of 65 will surpass the population of the age of 15. It means the labour force would be shrinking,” he noted.

Hence, he pointed out that there’s a dire need for a structure or a policy to be prepared to overcome this challenge.

The Department of Labour has completed drafting a single employment law, which would address the wages and conditions of work while incorporating the new dynamics of employment such as part-time employment and flexible working hours.

Amidst opposition from several influential labour unions, the draft bill is yet to reach the Cabinet.
The department plans to create more public awareness of the draft bill in the coming weeks to gain public support for it. (Nishel Fernando)

  Comments - 6

  • Tariq Thowfeek Thursday, 14 November 2019 11:11 AM

    Why do you want to keep 60 to 80 year old people working who are hardly capable of even speaking. Send them on retirement immediately.

    Acid Thursday, 14 November 2019 11:38 AM

    What about the 60 to 80 year old people, who are doing their jobs better than the youngsters! This should be defeated. This is age based discrimination

    Sunil Thursday, 14 November 2019 11:40 AM

    It is not the age that matters but one's abilities. Well past 90 (ninety) years of the famous heart surgeon Dr Michale deBakey was carrying out heart surgeries.

    Anmanpan Thursday, 14 November 2019 12:39 PM

    A very amusing comment. In the US there is no retirement age. One works until he drop dead. It is the same in Sri Lanka and should be kept .

    mk Thursday, 14 November 2019 11:50 AM

    what about 225 donkeys ????? any age limit for them???

    Damian Thursday, 14 November 2019 12:44 PM

    What about the govt sector and the armed forces?


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