The International Labour Organisation (ILO) announced the addition of full Sinhala and Tamil translations of Sri Lanka’s labour laws to the Salary.lk website in an effort to improve awareness of workers’ and employers’ rights and duties.
The website, which is an initiative of the WageIndicator Foundation, hosts detailed, easy-to-understand and well referenced information about Sri Lanka’s labour laws while also providing career advice and comparative analysis of salaries on a sectoral basis.
Prior to this new initiative from the ILO, national labour laws were only available in the English language, notably on the Labour Department website. However, given Sri Lanka’s continuously expanding internet penetration, particularly as a result of its high percentage of mobile Internet users, the additions to the Salary.lk website are expected to dramatically improve accessibility and awareness of labour laws explained in a user-friendly manner not only for island’s eight million strong labour force but also for employers and government officials.
At present it is estimated that approximately 76 percent of the Sri Lankan population speak only the Sinhala language at home while 17.9 percent speak only Tamil and just 0.2 percent speak only English.
Currently the Salary.lk website receives approximately 15,000 visitors per month, however with its newly updated functionality and accessibility, it is anticipated that the site could draw as many as 50,000 visitors per month in the coming year.
The website itself is managed and run by the WageIndicator Foundation, which provided the original English content for the website. The ILO provided the technical and financial expertise and resources necessary to translate content into the Sinhala and Tamil languages.
Additionally, considering the high proportion of Sri Lankans utilising mobile phones as their primary gateway to the Internet, the Salary.lk site has been mobile optimised to provide the greatest utility to the widest group of users.
The initiative was first conceptualised when ILO analysis of the Sri Lankan labour force revealed that young workers tended to be less aware about basic and practical aspects of labour law despite having a persistently high rate of IT literacy.