This summary of age discrimination law in Sri Lanka has been prepared by FJ&G de Saram: www.fjgdesaram.com.
While there is no codified law relating to age discrimination in Sri Lanka, certain laws exist which provide for the protection of elders and provide certain statutory benefits irrespective of age.
The Protection of the Rights of Elders Act No.9 of 2000 (as amended) (the “Act”), which established the National Council for Elders and National Secretariat (the “Council”) for Elders provides for the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of elders. The Act defines “elders” as any person who has passed the age of 60 years. The Council is inter alia responsible for ensuring the adoption of, and compliance with, the relevant international declarations and conventions relating to elders, by the Government of Sri Lanka.
As aforementioned, there are certain laws relating to employment which also contain protection and statutory benefits, irrespective of age. For instance, employees are entitled to Employee Trust Fund and Employee Provident Fund payments and gratuity, irrespective of the age at which they join employment.
Sri Lanka is also a signatory the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, which prohibits discrimination of any kind.
WHAT ENFORCEMENT/REMEDIES EXIST?
Enforcement does not arise due to the fact that there are no codified laws relating to age discrimination.
HOW COMMON ARE CLAIMS
We are unaware of claims made on age discrimination in Sri Lanka.
WHAT CLAIMS ARE MOST COMMON AND WHAT ARE THE TRICKIEST ISSUES FOR EMPLOYERS?
We are unaware of such claims.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC EXCEPTIONS IN YOUR LAWS?
There are no specific exceptions.
The Establishment Code of 1985 (as amended), governs the retirement age of the employees of the public sector and judiciary. A public sector employee may choose to retire upon turning 55 years old and must provide the relevant appointing authority 3 months’ notice if he or she wishes to retire. Where the employee has reached this optional retirement age, the officer with the appointing authority (the officer) can request that the employee retires with 3 months’ prior notice if it decides that the efficiency and the work of the employee is unsatisfactory.
An employee who has decided to work past the optional retirement age of 55 may continue to do so until he or she turns 57 years old. After which, the employee must obtain the permission of the officer to continue working until 60 years old.
Generally the age of retirement for private sector employees is considered to be between 55 and 60. There is however, no law in Sri Lanka which stipulates a set age of retirement for employees in the private sector. The retirement age is usually governed by their individual contract of employment and if the retirement is not stipulated in such contract, then it would be according to the collective agreement in force in relation to such employment. Where no retirement age is stipulated in writing, it would depend on the prevailing practice of the company.
ANY INTERESTING CASES
We are not aware of any cases based on age discrimination in Sri Lanka.