The Government has announced the enactment of a new Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) Act, which will repeal the existing SLBFE Act, No. 21 of 1985.
The Ministry of Foreign Employment along with the SLBFE which is the regulatory arm of the migrant sector, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice are presently holding discussions in this regard including the obtaining of inputs from the relevant stakeholders, and are scheduled to present a draft to the Legal Draftsman’s Department following Cabinet approval, soon. The SLBFE is tasked with the implementation of the policy of the Ministry of Foreign Employment.
Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Employment, G.S. Withanage said that as part of the proper regulation of the implementation of the policies, no charges or fees as per the domestic zero charge based policy which is also the international policy, can be obtained from the migrant worker, except by the SLBFE as an administrative fee such as a registration fee.
While foreign employment or job agencies too cannot charge any fee from the migrant worker for helping the said worker obtain a job, they can, however, obtain a fee from the overseas employer providing the employment or job to the migrant worker, he explained.
“Certain actions and measures have already been taken with regard to the aforementioned matter. The new Act will be strengthened to be line with the current international situation with regard to migrant workers, to include the latest decisions taken regarding them, and the policies and the conventions that have been adopted in this regard, all with the view of protecting and safeguarding them,” he added.