Paid Vacation / Annual Leave
An employee is entitled to take annual leave when the next calendar year starts. The duration of that first annual leave period is determined according to the date/month on which the employment commenced. From the second year onward, an employee is entitled to 14 days of paid annual leave, after completion of 12 months of continuous service. For the first year, an employee would have following annual leave, depending upon the time of commencement of his employment:
– 14 days if the employment commences on or after the first day of January but before the first day of April;
– 10 days if the employment commences on or after the first day of April but before the first day of July;
– 7 days if the employment commences on or after the first day of July but before the first day of October; and
– 4 days if the employment commences on or after the first day of October.
A worker is required to take his annual leave within twelve months of its entitlement. Annual leave schedule is determined by the mutual agreement between the employer and the employee. It may be split however its minimum duration cannot be less than 07 days.
Employers are not allowed to compel workers to work during annual leave.
If the employment contract expires before a worker could acquire the right to annual leave, the employee is entitled to the annual leave earned by him or her in respect of the previous year plus the days earned during the year of termination.
Source: §6 of the Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Act, 1954
Pay on Public Holidays
Workers are entitled to paid Festival (public and religious) holidays. Festival holidays are announced by Sri Lankan Government at the start of calendar year (usually 16 in number). The public holidays are regulated under the Holidays Act (No. 29 of 1971). The Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Act, 1954 also provides for Full Moon Poya Day and 8 other public holidays. If a public holiday falls on weekly rest day, no additional holiday is granted.
Public Holidays includes Thai Pongal day; National day (Feb 4); Day prior to Sinhala and Tamil New Year; The Sinhala and Tamil New Year day; May day (May 01); Vesak Full Moon Poya Day (May 03); The day after the Full Moon day, in the Sinhala month of Vesak (May 04); Poson Full Moon Poya Day (June 02); Adhi-Esala Full Moon Poya Day (July 01); Id-ul-Fitr (July 18); Binara Full Moon Poya Day (August 29); Vap Full Moon Poya Day (October 27); Deepavali Festiva Day (November 10); III Full Moon Poya Day (November 25); Milda-un-Nabi (December 24); Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day (December 24); Christmas day (December 25)
Source: §7 of the Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Act, 1954; Holidays Act (No. 29 of 1971)
Weekly Rest Days
Workers are entitled to at least one and a half day of rest per week at the worker’s full rate of remuneration. However, the entitlement of full remuneration is not applicable to workers who have worked for less than 28 hours, exclusive of overtime work.
Weekly rest day is not specified in the Act. The rest day can be postponed and taken in 5-weekly blocks, provided that the Commissioner is satisfied that such postponement is necessary by reason of the nature of the business or for unforeseen circumstances.
Source: §5 of Shop and Office Employees Act, 1954