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The Ministry of Labour issued a communiqué reiterating a directive by Elections Commissioner, calling on all private sector employers to grant mandatory leave for employees to cast their vote on August 17.

Signed by Herath Yapa, Secretary to the Ministry of Labor, the communiqué cites that employers should avail employees a period of leave ranging from half day to a full day without the loss of pay or their private leave. He also mentioned the Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya had written to the Ministry to ensure employees can vote at national elections without loss of pay or their private leave.

Accordingly, employers are requested to grant leave based on the distance it takes to travel from the employees’ workplace to the polling station. For employees whose workplace is 40km away, the mandate requires employers to grant a leave for half the day. For those who must travel up to distances of 100km one day leave may be granted, up to 150km one and half days and two days will also be given for those who above 150km.
“Officers of the Department of Labor will take action in respect of complaints of not granting or not adequately granting leave by employers.” the statement reads.