Estate Workers in Sri Lanka: An Account of the Legal and Policy Framework
The plantation sector continues to be an important source of foreign exchange and a vital source of employment. Today, nearly one million people live on private tea estates managed by the regional plantation companies and therefore fall outside the administrative sphere of local government bodies. The estate community is governed by a largely separate legal structure from other wage labourers and other Sri Lankan nationals.
This paper looks at the complex legal and policy framework that applies to estate workers. In light of recent legislative changes and a new collective agreement, the paper provides an overview of the evolution of the legal and policy framework of plantation workers in Sri Lanka, with a focus on tea estate workers.