The Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara said today that a separate chapter will be introduced in the new ‘Employment Act’ which outlines measures to protect the dignity of all professions in Sri Lanka.
He added that the aim is to ensure employee recognition and their professional status, irrespective of the sector they work.
He went on to say that a gazette notification will be issued stipulating Practices, skills, ethics, and qualifications set forth by a professional body representing the respective profession or discipline and Professional standards guide as well as the collective within a profession.
The Minister pointed out that the new employment act will provide security to the people engaged in all professions in Sri Lanka and thus everyone will have the opportunity to lead a dignified life.
The Minister mentioned this during a discussion held with pre-school teachers to make them aware on efforts to raise their professional standards and safeguarding professional security under the “Garu Saru” programme, launched to provide dignity and security to all those working in the informal sector in Sri Lanka.
The Minister while noting that there are around six million people working in the informal sector stressed that the ‘Garu Saru’ programme had been introduced with the intention of ensuring, dignity, security and recognition of their professional status.
The Minister suggested that pre-school teachers also should have an organization of their own to take collective decisions and propagate their rights and issues.
“Here we need to see if there is a proper organization for pre-school teachers. There are separate organizations especially for lawyers, accountants and architects etc.” he said.
The Minister emphasizing the importance of pre-school education said that early childhood education is the first stage of a holistic model that creates supportive and constructive learning for children of all ages.
“Young children, especially those under 5, need exposure to early stimulation and need to learn life skills that will prepare them for school and day-to-day life” he added.
The Minister stressed that regulations will be included in the new Employment Act to ensure professional recognition and dignity of pre-school teachers.
Nanayakkara also emphasized that his Ministry is planning to submit a cabinet proposal outlining measures to integrate all informal sector employees into EPF which is a retirement benefits scheme for employees and ETF which is a long-term investment or a savings plan that is established by the employer to benefit employees.
“Accordingly, we will ensure that all the six million informal workers will be encompassed in a viable social security network with EPF and ETF benefits” he added,