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.