Minister seeks Cabinet approval to draft new laws
By J.T. de Silva
Labour Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has sought Cabinet approval to introduce new legislation to empower Labour Tribunals with judicial powers equal to Magistrate’s Courts, when it comes to cases filed under Labour Laws.
At present there is a backlog of about 16,000 cases pending in 80 Magistrate’s Courts. There are already 37 Labour Tribunals around the country and some 5,495 complaints lodged by workers are currently being heard in these Tribunals.
Minister de Silva has pointed out that Magistrate’s Courts are already handling a considerable number of criminal cases and handling these 16,000 cases has become a cumbersome task for the Courts.
Therefore, an inordinate delay has occurred in hearing cases pertaining to the employers defaulting or underpaying gratuity and EPF to the employees.
As a solution, the Minister has sought Cabinet approval to send instructions to the Legal Draftsman to draft special legislation to grant Labour Tribunals sufficient judicial powers similar to Magistrate Courts, to hear cases filed under different Labour Acts and Ordinances.