Sri Lanka: Care Policy Evaluation 2022

Sri Lanka is a South Asian island nation off the coast of India. Relative to her neighbours in South Asia, Sri Lanka sports relatively higher levels of human development. However, Sri Lanka’s labor law is in need of several amendments in order to further protect family caregivers and domestic workers.

Alongside a minimum 12 week maternity leave provision, Sri Lanka also offers male workers in the state sector 3 days of paternity leave. While such provisions are commendable, they still fall short of the ILO recommended durations. Notably, Sri Lanka legislation also offers generous nursing support at the workplace. However, anti-discrimination legislation must be improved to prevent new mothers from being fired or demoted following their uptake of maternity leave. Further, Sri Lankan law fails to recognize that non-female individuals may act as family caregivers too. As such, Sri Lanka scores 3.73/10.00 in Sub-Index A.

Domestic workers are excluded from labor law in Sri Lanka as they are not commonly included in the definitions of “worker” used by the law. As such, Sri Lanka fails to mandate that domestic workers must be employed with contracts, and given safe and healthy working environments. Given numerous omissions in the protections for domestic workers, Sri Lanka scores 3.12/10.00 in Sub-Index B.

Overall, Sri Lanka scores 3.42 out of 10.00 in the GCPI, placing it in the “Emerging” Index band. A deep-dive into the complexity of Sri Lankan labor law with regard to family caregivers and domestic workers can be found here.

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