Payment law still awaiting rules and regulations
ONE year on, and employers and labour organisations are still waiting for the government to issue by-laws for the implementation of key labour protection legislation. The hoped-for influx of foreign investors expected to follow the lifting of US sanctions has made clarification of the law more urgent, industry analysts say.
The 2016 Payment of Wage Law was one of the last to be adopted under the former government in January. Labour ministry officials say the necessary by-laws have already been drawn up, and were awaiting final approval before coming out next month.
U Nyint Win, deputy director general of the Factories and General Labour Law Inspection Department, said the by-laws would be issued as soon as they had been signed by the Union minister.
“All the adjustments to the text have been completed, and we’re just waiting for the signature. The by-laws should be out by the end of the year,” he said.
But workers’ representatives say the absence of the by-laws over the past 10 months has hampered their ability to pursue complaints. Unions could not take effective action on complaints of broken employee contacts or discrimination cases that led to loss of earnings on the part of workers, he said.
U Naw Aung, vice chair of the Myanmar Industries Craft and Services Trade Unions Federation, said the absence of the rules and regulations had affected the resolution of cases involving daily and casual workers, and cases involving disputes over entitlements such as leave and overtime.
“There have been lots of breach of contract cases. Without proper bylaws, it was difficult to pursue them,” he said.
He said labour laws should be clarified as soon as possible because so many investors were expected to arrive, and the absence of clear rules could lead to labour disputes.
U Aung Lin, a labour affairs analyst, said the labour ministry should act promptly to clarify breach of contract cases. “It’s hard to regulate these cases without clear by-laws issued by parliament. In the absence of clear rulings, these cases can drag on and on,” he said.