In keeping with requirements of Sri Lanka’s treaty body obligations arising out of the ratification of International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No.103, on Maternity Protection, local laws applicable to the non-public sector has now been revised with effect from June 2018.

The Shop and Office Employees Act and the Maternity Benefits Ordinance have been revised. The new legal amendments seek to iron out differences in maternity benefits that existed between the two laws.

According to the new changes, female workers covered by the Shop and Office Employees Act, are entitled to two nursing intervals of each not less than thirty minutes during a regular working day if nursing a child below the age of one year. Earlier this benefit was confined only to females covered by the Maternity Benefits Ordinance who perform work in factory or similar connected settings under the Wages Boards Ordinance.

The new amendments have also lifted the limitations in the number of holidays a mother would be entitled based on the children.

The legal amendments also carry several progressive changes in favour of female workers.

All employers in the private sector and in state enterprises are now required to comply with the new changes.