Nature of Employment and Labour Protection of the GI Producers in Sri Lanka: A Legal Perspective
De Silva, LM
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Production of goods with Geographical Indications (GI) involves skill and experience to a larger extent. Therefore, at a time where Sri Lanka loses its valuable domestic producers of GIs day by day, only a few producers who work under several businessmen still exist. Nevertheless, most of them are not entitled for the rights and benefits under Labour Law in Sri Lanka as the workmen or employees in other sectors. GI producers are not generally labelled as employees since they lack the element of ‘contract of employment’. Hence, firstly this research aims to identify the nature of employment of GI producers in Sri Lanka. Secondly, it analyses the law relating to the determination of the contract of employment. Thirdly, this research evaluates the impact of the existence of a contract of employment on the GI producers. Lastly, this paper suggests proposals to bring Sri Lankan GI producers under the scope of employer-employee relationship with benefits. To this end, the black letter law approach was predominantly followed in this research. Hence, statutes and judicial decisions were utilised as the primary sources. Moreover, books, journal articles, reports, newspapers, conference proceedings and websites were extensively utilised as secondary sources. In supporting the black letter approach, the socio-legal approach was also followed and a number of interviews were conducted with the GI producers. The findings revealed that GI producers can also be taken under the purview of employees in order to grant them employee benefits. Therefore, it is recommended to consider the GI producers as having a contract of employment based on the factual circumstances. It is also recommended to introduce a mobile complaint handling mechanism in the areas where the potential GIs are produced in eliminating the difficulties which lie with the producers and to affirm proper and continuous welfare of them. Such labour protection of GI Producers would undoubtedly assist in preserving the GI products for the future.
- Law