Private sector chamber offers employment opportunities to government servants

By Sanath Nanayakkare

National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) has made a proposal to Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe and to the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government, with a view to providing employment opportunities to government servants in the private sector companies for a specified period.They made this proposal after learning that The Ministry of Public Administration has appointed a committee to look into the possibility of granting 05 years of leave to government employees to work in the private sector.

Considering the financial burden and the reportedly excessive workforce attached to the public sector, NCE member exporters are proposing following options to reach a mutually beneficial agreement for both government and the export sector.The Chamber, however, said that labour requirements of exporters vary according to the relevant industry, yet in general, all categories could be considered.

NCE highlighted following key points in their proposal.

1. Any government employee in the permanent carder is eligible to apply for employment in the export sector, excluding following institutions as they are involved in law enforcement in the country which may lead to conflict of interests.

a) Department of Police

b) Department of Inland Revenue

c) Department of Customs

d) Department of Excise

2. Government to grant unpaid leave up to a maximum of 59 months.

3. Employer will offer a “Temporary Labour Contract “to such selected individuals which include: –

a) Period of contract for 59 months (because on completion of the 60th month, the employee will be eligible for Gratuity.)

b) Their employment will be in accordance with the laws and statutes under which the respective private sector company’s employees of similar cadre is employed.

c) Leave entitlement as per employer’s policy on leave

d) Employment contract can be terminated with either party giving 30 days’ written notice.

e) In case of maternity leave, a number of stipulated days will be available as unpaid leave.

f) At the end of 59 months, the government to absorb such individuals back to the public sector employment as per pertinent rules and regulations.

“The Export Sector has been able to sustain business and has also reached the pre pandemic level of an average of USD.01 billion export revenue during the period January to April 2022. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, exporters were facing difficulties due to the lack of skilled workers. During the pandemic, many exporters were compelled to downsize their operations and lay off employees which has created a vacuum in crucial areas of operations,” NCE said.

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