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Private sector salaries : Labour Dept. approval needed for reductions

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Labour Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said private companies, apart from those in the tourism industry, should obtain permission from the Department of Labour to reduce the salaries of employees by 50% if it is incurring huge losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

At a meeting held yesterday (16), the Minister requested to continue providing the relief by the Government to those who still couldn’t report for employment in the private sector as a result of the Covid-19 situation.

Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva

Labour Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva

He said that the 50% pay scale for the tourism industry should be maintained and the agreement reached by employers to pay the full salaries to the rest of the private sector should be maintained.

The 50% pay system can only be implemented if a working group does not report for work, he said. In such cases, it was decided that the companies should inform the Department of Labour about the inconvenience and obtain permission to pay 50% of the salary, the Minister said.

He directed the Department of Labour to monitor whether all workplaces around the country were adhering to the health guidelines issued by the Government to stop the spread of Covid-19.

At a meeting held between the Minister, labour officials, and trade unions, Minister de Silva instructed the Commissioner of Labour to set up Covid-19 committees in the workplaces as soon as possible with the participation of both employers and employees.