‘Labour Law and Relations: A Human Resource Management Approach’ written by Dr.Arosha S.Adikaram is yet another successful book which contains a wealth of information on labour rights and relations. Written in simple and lucid English the book aims to address almost all issues that employers and employees come across in the work place. From describing how relationships should work to how rights are protected by justice mechanisms the book is a detailed hand book which can guide both employers and employees.
In short the book, as the title implies, is a complete study of labour law and relations. The book explores diverse topics within the scope defined, such as employee relations, terms and conditions of employment, trade union activities, employee benefits, health and safety at work etc. The book goes on to describe the boundaries within which employers can exercise their power. For instance, employers cannot terminate the work of pregnant women simply for being pregnant. Their rights are protected by the ‘Shop and Office Employee Act’ and the ‘Maternity benefits Ordinance’. Similarly the book lays down the laws pertaining to handling different types of employees such as fixed term contract employees, probationers, casual employees, apprentices, temporary employees and seasonal employees. The writer shows how coordination and effective management can prevent unpleasant situations at the workplace.
The writer also compares the available judicial remedies with those of other countries. For instance, the writer points out how sexual harassment can cause companies in other countries to bear high cost fines, whereas in Sri Lanka the penalty is a maximum of a mere Rs.10,000!
The writer has critically evaluated the important legislations found in labour law. Facts beneficial to employees, such as the stipulated number of working hours, are clearly depicted. Accordingly employees cannot be employed for more than eight hours a day. Companies are allowed to employ workers for an additional hour in, instead of the weekly half-day.
The special provisions related to employment of female workers and young persons in shops and offices, rules regarding the hours of interval, calculation of overtime, leave and holidays, remuneration, are also described. In terms of trade union actions, the writer points out the legal and illegal aspects of it, and how such actions should be dealt with both from the perspectives of the employer and the employee. Further the writer also makes note of progressive steps in employment such as establishing day-care centres and
The author also discusses the role of ‘Labour Tribunals’ set up under the ‘Industrial Disputes Act’. Labour Tribunals, which function on a district basis, deal with matters such as the termination of service of employees by employers. The writer points out that there is a backlog of cases in Labour Tribunals which delay justice being served. The book comprises 24 chapters. Each chapter starts off with a summary of what the chapter entails and a set of questions. This is followed by a detailed analysis of the topic. The answers to the questions are given at the end of the chapter. The theoretical knowledge imparted in the chapter is tested by the interesting case studies and questions found at the end. Hence each chapter is shaped for readers to grasp the theories fast and easily, so as to apply them effectively in their day to day lives.
Though the book primarily caters to the needs of students and practitioners of Human Resource Management, it is a book that could be read by anyone interested in gaining knowledge on the subject. Information is presented in a very reader-friendly manner. Concepts are explained through diagrams, tables and graphics which are appealing and easy
‘Labour Law and Relations’ published by Stamford Lake (Pvt) Ltd is available in all leading
About the writer...
Dr. Arosha S. Adikaram
Speaking of her latest endeavour of releasing the second edition of this book Dr. Adikaram, a senior lecturer in Human Resource Management at the Faculty of Management and Finance of the University of Colombo, said that the most challenging aspect of compiling the book was to make sure that the book was easy to understand while its content was unharmed. “When I was studying the subject, most books on labour law were difficult to understand. Later, I started on a guidebook for students in my university. I received very good feedback from students and lecturers and they suggested I wrote a book. The first edition of this book was a result of five years of work,” said Dr. Adikaram, recalling the journey she undertook to compile the book. She is the writer of many acclaimed books including ‘Contract of Employment and Employment Law: Questions and Answers’ and ‘Dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace.’