Arrangements have been made to start social security benefits in the future also in the informal sector for insurance agents, journalists, carpenters, masons, including laborers and domestic workers, said Labor Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva.
“It is the responsibility of the government to set up a social security benefit scheme for all segments of the country that lack social security or protection. The scheme will provide them with adequate income support in their old age,” he added.
The minister said he has no hesitation in adapting current labor laws to the latest trends and needs in their respective sectors for the benefit of workers. Accordingly, labor laws related to the life insurance industry will be updated to reflect the latest industry developments for their job security,” he added.
The minister said this during a discussion recently held at the ministry with representatives of the Whole Island Life Insurance Agents’ Organization.
Insurance agents point out that despite decades of multi-party discussions about the future and labor instability faced by insurance agents, no positive steps have been taken to address it.
The minister said the government is focusing on developing a system for the nearly 45,000 life insurance agents working in the insurance industry in Sri Lanka to provide benefits to the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and the Employees’ Trust Fund (ETF). Accordingly, the rule of law regarding the appointments of the life insurance agents will be adapted to the current demands and needs in the sector,” he added. A suitable social security program for them has not yet been implemented. Therefore, there is no certainty about their future security and institutional professional affiliation, the minister said.
The insurance sector has currently become one of the most lucrative sectors in Sri Lanka, the minister said.
Steps will be taken to provide a rapid solution to the social security schemes of the life insurance sales agents and the preparation of the necessary legal framework for this will begin shortly.