Labour market governance and working conditions in Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Garbage sorters at the bio waste management centre.©ILO/Alan Dow
Labour market governance and access to decent working conditions is one of the key features of the Decent Work Country Programme for Sri Lanka 2013-2017 and is being operationalized through priority outcome 2, Strengthened democratic governance of labour market.

Labour market governance and working conditions is one of the key priorities and is considered an important prerequisite in ensuring decent work for all. Such working conditions include decent wages, hours of work, rest and leave periods, adequate social security, freedom of association, the right to bargain collectively, and an absence of discrimination, forced labour or child labour.

Better and stronger labour market governance goes hand in hand with fair working conditions and seeks to balance the employers’ demand for greater efficiency and flexibility with the workers’ need for employment stability, increased social protection and social security.

Labour market governance covers a range of policies, reforms, norms, laws, regulations, institutions and processes that influence the demand and supply of labour. ILO works with its’ constituents in facilitating the process to ensure that labour market reforms are seen by stakeholders as efficient, equitable and fair.

In the National Policy for Decent Work and the National Plan of Action for Decent Work endorsed by the Government identifies the existing decent work deficits in the areas of Employment Promotion, Rights at Work, Social Protection and Social Dialogue and sets out policies to overcome them, while the national plan of action converts policy into action These two documents together sets out the direction that Sri Lanka needs to take in implementing economic and social development, without sacrificing one for the other creates a blueprint for action

The Decent Work Agenda requires sustained commitment and collaboration of social partners for achieving its objectives and the National Plan of Action for Decent Work is an effective tool towards achieving this. The development of a Road Map for effectively operationalizing the National Plan of Action for Decent Work has been a long felt need.

ILO will provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations to develop a Road Map for implementation of the National Plan of Action for Decent Work and will work with its constituents in moving forward the Decent Work Agenda in order to give full effect, in law and in practice, to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work ensuring decent working conditions for all Sri Lankans.