In-house seminar – Repositioning Employment Social Protection in Sri Lanka’s Private Sector

19 May 2021

‘Repositioning Employment Social Protection in Sri Lanka’s Private Sector’ was the subject of IPS’ in-house seminar this month. Dr. Nisha Arunatilake, Director of Research, Ashani Abayasekara, Research Economist, and Chathurga Karunanayake, Research Officer, IPS discussed how existing social security schemes can be improved to provide better benefits to both workers and firms, without imposing additional costs. The research team noted that COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges to labour markets across the world and the effects were more pronounced in countries with inadequate social security. They examined how other countries with similar social security schemes and socio-economic contexts such as India, Malaysia, Thailand and Nepal have utilised their existing schemes for job and enterprise protection and emergency relief following the COVID-19 outbreak. The IPS researchers argued that existing social security contributions in Sri Lanka can be used to provide more benefits for both employers and employees by channelling defined percentages of contributions to specific accounts for different purposes. They further highlighted the need for improved governance, greater efficiency of services through digitisation and professional staff, and improved adequacy of funds for low-income earners by regulating minimum payment and not charging taxes.

Presentation Available Upon Request