Repositioning Employment Social Protection in the Private Sector in Sri Lanka

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns have resulted in severe disruptions to labour markets across the world. One immediate challenge that all employers face – particularly in the private sector – is the ability to retain employees and pay their wages in full. Both employers and employees in Sri Lanka’s formal private sector contribute a share of a worker’s monthly wages to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees’ Trust Fund (ETF), which provide a lump-sum payment at retirement. Can such a scheme be redesigned to provide for job and enterprise protection during a crisis? Are there other countries that have drawn from such funds during the pandemic? What are the potential costs and benefits of a revised scheme? This study intends to examine such issues, which will be of interest to both the government and employers, moving forward out of the crisis.


Research team

Nisha Arunatilake
View profile
Ashani Abayasekara
View profile
Chathurga Karunanayake
View profile


International Labour Organization

Published Year

2020 – 2021