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Sri Lanka - Working time - 2011


LAST UPDATE

31 October 2011

SOURCES

There is no single set of rules or regulations pertaining to working time arrangements across Sri Lanka. Rather, working time rules are to be set at a trade level by Ministerial order as proposed by the relevant Wages Board within certain parameters set out by article 24 of the Wages Boards Ordinance (attached for reference). Summary information on the various Wages Boards’ working time orders can be found in the Ministry of Employment and Labour 2002 publication ’Understanding Labour Law’ (relevant excerpts attached, see pp14-19).

However, the rules pertaining to employees engaged in or about the business or a shop or offices have been codified in the Shop and Office Employees Act and associated Regulations. As this law represents the most comprehensive and widely-applicable statutory provision for working time, the information contained below is taken primarily from the Shop and Office Employees Act and associated Regulations.

Some information has also been drawn from the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act and associated Regulations where relevant and the Factories Ordinance (see Normal Hours Limits and Night Work). The limited scope of these provisions (i.e. the employment of women and young persons in industrial undertakings and factories) is noted in the relevant entries.

Name of Act

Wages Boards Ordinance, Ordinance No. 27 of 1941 of 19 September 1941, as amended up to Act No. 36 of 1982. Published by the Ministry of Labour at http://www.labourdept.gov.lk and accessed 24 October 2011.
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Name of Act

Shop and Office Employees Act Act No. 19 of 1954, dated 9 August 1954, as amended up to Act No. 44 of 1985. Published by the Ministry of Labour at http://www.labourdept.gov.lk and accessed 24 October 2011.
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Name of Act

Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act and Regulations. Act No 47 of 1956, as amended up to Act No 24 of 2006. Published by the Ministry of Labour at http://www.labourdept.gov.lk and accessed 24 October 2011.
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Name of Act

Factories Ordinance, Act No 45 of 1942 and amended up to Act No 33 of 2000. Published by the Ministry of Labour at http://www.labourdept.gov.lk and accessed 24 October 2011.
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Other source used

’Understanding Labour Law’ Planning, Research and Development Division of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Sri Lanka, 2002

LEGAL DEFINITIONS


Employee/worker

The term employee is not defined by the Shop and Office Employees Act.

Employer

In relation to any shop, employer means the owner of the business of that shop, and includes any person having he charge or the general management and control of that shop.

In relation to any office, employer means the person carrying on, or for the time being responsible for the management of the business for the purposes of which the office is maintained.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §68(1)
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Overtime/overtime work

Overtime, in relation to any employment or work in or about the business of a shop or office, means employment or work in excess of the normal maximum period provided by s3 of the Shop and Office Employees Act.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §68(1)

NORMAL HOURS LIMITS


Daily hours limit


General limit

The normal period during which any person may be employed in or about the business of any shop or office on any one day shall not exceed eight hours.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §3(1)(a)

Exceptions

The daily hours limit does not apply to any person who holds an executive or managerial position in a public institution and who is in receipt of a consolidated salary the initial of the scale of which is not less than Rs.6,720 per annum.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §3(5)
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Special categories


» Night work

For the purposes of calculating the daily hours of a person who is normally employed in or about the business of any shop or office for a period which continues from any time before midnight to any time after midnight, ’day’ shall be deemed to be the period of twenty-four hours reckoned from the time at which the period of the employment of that person normally commences.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §8(a)

» Young workers

For every young person employed in a factory, the total hours worked, exclusive of intervals allowed for meals and rest, shall not exceed nine in any day.
Factories Ordinance §67(a)

» Women

For every woman employed in a factory, the total hours worked, exclusive of intervals allowed for meals and rest, shall not exceed nine in any day.
Factories Ordinance §67(a)

Weekly hours limit


General limit

The normal period during which any person may be employed in or about the business of any shop or office in any one week shall not exceed 45 hours.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §3(1)(b)
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Exceptions

The daily hours limit does not apply to any person who holds an executive or managerial position in a public institution and who is in receipt of a consolidated salary the initial of the scale of which is not less than Rs.6,720 per annum.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §3(5)
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Special categories


» Young workers

For every young person employed in a factory, the total hours worked, exclusive of intervals allowed for meals and rest, shall not exceed 48 hours in any week.
Factories Ordinance §67(a)

» Women

For every woman employed in a factory, the total hours worked, exclusive of intervals allowed for meals and rest, shall not exceed 48 hours in any week.
Factories Ordinance §67(a)

OVERTIME WORK


Limits on overtime hours


General limits

The period during which a person may be employed in overtime in or about the business of any shop or office shall not exceed an aggregate of 12 hours in any one week.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Regulations, r6

Compensation for overtime work


Overtime rate(s)

A person employed overtime in or about the business of any shop or office must be paid for that work at a rate not less than one and a half times the hourly rate of his ordinary remuneration.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Regulations, r7
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SCHEDULES


General

No more than 12 hours may be allowed to lapse between the time which a shop or office employee commences work or any day and the time at which he ceases work on that day, not including any period of overtime worked.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §3(3)

Special categories


Pregnant workers

No female shall be employed in or about the business of any shop or office for any period (including overtime and an interval for rest or for a meal and any permissible interruptions) exceeding 9 hours.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Regulations, r2(1)

Young workers

No employee under the age of 18 shall be employed in or about the business of any shop or office for any period (including overtime and an interval for rest or for a meal and any permissible interruptions) exceeding 9 hours.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Regulations, r2(1)

REST PERIODS


Rest breaks


General provisions

Every person employed in or about the business of any shop or office shall be allowed intervals for meals as follows:
(a) Where the employee’s hours of work include 11am to 2pm - an interval of 1 hour, commencing between those hours;
(b) Where the employee’s hours of work include 4pm to 6pm - an interval of half an hour, commencing between those hours;
(c) Where the employee’s hours of work include 7pm to 10pm - an interval of 1 hour, commencing between those hours;
(d) Otherwise, at the end of each 4 hours of continuous employment.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §9, Schedule

Exceptions

The entitlement to rest breaks under the Shop and Office Employees Act does not arise during any day on which an employee is employed to work a total period not exceeding 5 continuous hours.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §9(3)

Weekly rest periods


Duration


» General

Every person employed in or about the business of any shop or office shall be allowed 1 whole holiday and 1 half-holiday each week at the employee’s full rate of remuneration.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §5(1)
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» Exceptions

The entitlement to full remuneration for the weekly rest period does not apply to employees who have worked less than 28 hours, exclusive of overtime work, during the week to which the entitlement relates.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §5(1)

Day specified


» General

The Shop and Office Employees Act does not specify a day or days on which the weekly rest period must be taken. However, the employee must be allowed to take the whole day and one half-day holiday in the week or in the week immediately succeeding the week to which the entitlement relates.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations s5(2)

» Exceptions

A weekly rest period may be postponed and taken in 4-weekly blocks where the Commissioner is satisfied that such postponement is necessary by reason of the nature of the business or of unforeseen circumstances.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §5(2)

Work on weekly rest day


» Criteria

Other than by the monthly accumulation contemplated by s5(2), the Shop and Office Employees Act does not contemplate work on weekly rest days.

Special categories


» Night work

For the purposes of providing weekly rest periods to a person who is normally employed in or about the business of any shop or office for a period which continues from any time before midnight to any time after midnight:
(a) ’day’ shall be deemed to be the period of twenty-four hours reckoned from the time at which the period of the employment of that person normally commences;
(b) ’half holiday’ means a day (as defined above) on which that person is not employed for more than five hours, exclusive of any interval allowed for rest or a meal and any interruption permitted by any regulation.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §8

ANNUAL LEAVE AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS


ANNUAL LEAVE


Qualifying period

An employee will not be entitled to take annual leave until the employee reaches his or her second ’year of employment’ (calendar year, as defined). The duration of that first annual leave period will be determined according to the date on which the employment commenced.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §6(1)(a), (2), (7A), (8)
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Duration


» General

Employees are entitled to 14 days’ annual leave for each ’year of employment’ (being calendar years, as defined).
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §6(1), (8)
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» Exceptions

In respect of the first year of employment during which any person has been continuously in employment in or about the business of any shop or office, that person shall be entitled to take and shall take:
(i) where his employment commences on or after the first day of January but before the first day of April, a holiday of fourteen days with full remuneration;
(ii) where his employment commences on or after the first day of April but before the first day of July, a holiday of ten days with full remuneration;
(iii) where his employment commences on or after the first day of July but before the first day of October, a holiday of seven days with full remuneration; and
(iv) where his employment commences on or after the first day of October a holiday of four days with full remuneration,and the employer shall allow such holiday and be liable to pay such remuneration, and the employer shall allow such holiday and be liable to pay such remuneration.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §6(1)(a)

Payment


» Amount

An employee is to be paid remuneration in respect of annual leave periods.
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» Date of payment

The Shop and Office Employees Act does not specify a date of payment in respect of periods of annual leave.

Schedule and splitting

An employee’s annual leave entitlement must be taken in the year immediately succeeding the year to which the entitlement relates, on days to be agreed upon by the employer and the employee.

From the second year of employment, not less than 7 days shall be taken as consecutive leave days each year.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §6(1)(b), (2)

Work during annual leave

The Shop and Office Employees Act does not contemplate work during periods of annual leave.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS


Number and dates

The number and dates of public holidays varies from trade to trade, depending on the decision of the relevant Wages Board. However, there are 8 public holidays common across all trades Sri Lanka. These are:
(1) Thai Pongal day
(2) National day (Feb 4)
(3) Day prior to Sinhala and Tamil New Year
(4) The Sinhala and Tamil New Year day
(5) May day (May 1)
(6) The day after the Full Moon day, in the Sinhala month of Wesak
(7) Milda-un-Nabi (Prophet Mohamed’s Birthday)
(8) Christmas day

Employees employed in or about the business of a shop or office shall also be granted a public holiday on Full Moon Poya Day, although if this falls on a weekly rest day, no additional holiday shall be granted.
Ministry of Employment and Labour Sri Lanka 2002 (excerpt) pp17 and 25
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §7A

Payment

Every person employed in or about the business of a shop or office shall be allowed a holiday with full remuneration on each public holidays declared by the Minister, by Order published in the Gazette.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §7(1)

Work on Public Holidays


» Criteria

An employee may be employed for a normal period of employment on any day declared to be a public holiday with the prior sanction of the Commissioner, which shall only be provided if the Commissioner is satisfied that the holiday cannot be allowed to the particular employee without prejudice to the business in which he is employed.

Prior sanction of the Commissioner does not need to be obtained in relation to work on Full Moon Poya Day.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations ss7(2), 7B

» Compensation

Where an employee is required to work on a public holiday, that employee shall be allowed a holiday with full remuneration on or before the next 31st of December, or shall be paid remuneration for his employment on the public holiday at double the employee’s ordinary rate for such employment.

Work on Full Moon Poya Day shall be paid at one and a half times the employee’s normal daily rate of remuneration.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations ss7(2), 7B

EMERGENCY FAMILY LEAVE

In respect of each year of employment during which any person has been continuously in employment in or about the business of any shop or office, that person shall be entitled to take on account of private business, ill health or other reasonable cause, leave with full remuneration for a period or an aggregate of periods not exceeding seven days, and the employer shall allow such leave and be liable to pay such remuneration.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §6(3)

PART-TIME WORK


Rest breaks

The entitlement to rest breaks under the Shop and Office Employees Act does not arise during any day on which an employee is employed to work a total period not exceeding 5 continuous hours.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §9(3)

Weekly rest period

The entitlement to full remuneration for the weekly rest period does not apply to employees who have worked less than 28 hours, exclusive of overtime work, during the week to which the entitlement relates.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §5(1)

NIGHT WORK


Criteria for night work

No criteria for requiring night work identified.

Limits


Daily hours limit

A person who is normally employed in or about the business of any shop or office for a period which continues from any time before midnight to any time after midnight is subject to the same daily hours limits as other employees. However, for the purposes of calculating the limit, a ’day’ shall be deemed to be the period of twenty-four hours reckoned from the time at which the period of the employment of that person normally commences.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §8(a)

Weekly hours limit

No distinction is made between night- and day-time workers for the purposes of the limitation on normal weekly hours.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §3(1)

Overtime work

No distinction is made between night- and day-time workers for the purposes of the limit on overtime work.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Regulations, r6

Weekly rest periods

A person who is normally employed in or about the business of any shop or office for a period which continues from any time before midnight to any time after midnight has the same entitlement to weekly rest periods as other employees. However, for the purposes of calculating the period of weekly rest in relation to night workers:
(a) ’day’ shall be deemed to be the period of twenty-four hours reckoned from the time at which the period of the employment of that person normally commences;
(b) ’half holiday’ means a day (as defined above) on which that person is not employed for more than five hours, exclusive of any interval allowed for rest or a meal and any interruption permitted by any regulation.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §8

Special categories


Young workers

Workers who have not yet attained the age of 18 years shall not be employed in or about the business of a shop or office before 6am or after 6pm on any day, subject to any male who has attained the age of 16 being permitted to be employed in or about the business of a hotel, restaurant or place of entertainment for the period, or for any part of the period, between 6pm and 10pm.

Any person under the age of 18 years shall not be employed in a public or private industrial undertaking during the night, subject to the following exceptions:
(i) male young persons who have attained the age of 16 but are under the age of 18 may be authorised, by Ministerial Order, to be employed during the night for purposes of apprenticeship or vocational training in such industrial undertakings required to be carried on continuously as is or are specified in the Order;
(ii) where an emergency occurs in an industrial undertaking which could not have been controlled or foreseen and which is not of a periodical character and which interferes with the normal working of that undertaking, then, during that emergency, persons between the ages of 16 and 18 may be employed during the night;
(iii) when in a case of serious emergency the public interest demands it, the Minister may temporarily allow persons between the ages of 16 and 18 to be employed during the night;
(iv) where a Ministerial order allows young persons to work between 7pm and 11pm;
(v) where Regulations allow young persons to work during the night in a family undertaking.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §10(2)
Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act and Regulations §§2, 3
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Women

Females shall not be employed in or about the business of a shop or office before 6am or after 6pm on any day, subject to the following exceptions:
(i) any female who has attained the age of 18 may be employed in or about the business of a hotel or restaurant for the period, or any part of the period between 6pm and 10pm;
(ii) any female who has attained the age of 18 years may be employed before 6am or after 6pm in any office maintained by an airline at an airport on the work of a ground hostess, or in any residential hotel on the work of a receptionist, ladies cloak-room attendant, ladies linen room attendant or ladies lavatory attendant; and
(iii) any female who has attained the age of 18 may be employed in or about the business of a shop or office for the period, or for any part of the period, between 6pm and 8pm.

Every woman employed in an industrial undertaking or a factory shall be permitted to work throughout the night, provided that:
(a) no woman shall be compelled to work at night against her will;
(b) that written sanction of the Commissioner of Labour should be obtained by every employer, prior to the employment by him of women to work after 10pm;
(c) no woman who has been employed during the hours of 6am and 6pm shall be employed after 10pm on any day;
(d) every woman who works at night shall be in receipt of a payment of not less than one and a half times the normal payment received by her;
(e) there shall be appointed female wardens to see to the welfare of women workers who work at night;
(f) every woman worker working at night shall be provided with rest rooms and refreshments by the employer;
(g) no woman shall be employed for more than 10 days on night work, during any one month.

However, the above conditions do not apply to:
(a) women holding responsible positions of a managerial or technical character in an industrial undertaking;
(b) women employed in health and welfare services who are not ordinarily engaged in manual work; and
(c) to an industrial undertaking in which only members of the same family are employed.

Further, when in a case of serious emergency, the public interest demands it, the Minister may vary the above conditions in relation of employment of women, or prohibit employment of women, during the night in any industrial undertaking or undertakings or branches thereof.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations §10(2)
Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act and Regulations §§2A, 2B and Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Regulations, r3
Factories Ordinance §67A
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SHIFT WORK


Criteria for shift work

No provisions regulating shift work identified.

ON-CALL WORK


Criteria

No provisions regulating on-call work identified.

FLEXITIME


Criteria

No provisions regulating flexitime identified.

CASUAL WORK


General provisions

No provisions regulating casual workers identified.

SHORT-TIME WORK/WORK-SHARING


General provisions

No provisions regulating short-time work or work-sharing arrangements identified.

RIGHT TO CHANGE WORKING HOURS


Type of changes permitted

No provisions providing employees with a right to change working time identified.

INFORMATION & CONSULTATION


Information

Every employer must provide prescribed information to employees employed in or about the business of a shop or office on the date the employee�s employment. That information includes the employee�s normal hours of work, number of weekly holidays, annual holidays and other forms of leave to which the employee is entitled and the overtime rate payable.

All such information must be provided in writing in the language in which the employee is fully conversant and receipt is to be acknowledged by the employee and retained by the employer.

Further, in the premises of every shop or office the employer must keep a record of the hours (including overtime hours) actually worked by each person employed in or about the business of that shop or office, and of all holidays and leave allowed to or taken by such persons.
Shop and Office Employees Act and Regulations ss17, 18 and Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Regulations, r15

Consultation

No provisions establishing consultation requirements with respect to working time identified.

Results generated on: 28th July 2014 at 12:21:23.
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