Pay­ment law still await­ing rules and reg­u­la­tions

The Myanmar Times - - News - NYAN LYNN AUNG nyan­lin­aung@mm­times.com

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.

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