Work-From-Home – The Legal Status of Sri Lanka
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Work from Home (WFH) is not a novel concept theoretically. However the practical application of WFH did not impact on many types of employment in the world until the COVID 19 situation. During WFH, the contract of employment still exists between the employer and the employee, subject to few modifications. The place of work is different from usual employment and still the employer has the control over the employee’s service. However, it is pertinent to identify the legal framework with regard to WFH, specifically in Sri Lanka due to many reasons. During the last few months, it was observed manipulation of labour, deduction of salaries, lay offs and unlawful termination which have not been addressed though a solid legal protection. WFH is also such initiation that was operated during COVID 19 situation without much expressed legal basis or guidelines. Therefore, the problem addressed in this research paper is whether the legal status of Sri Lanka with regard to work from home condition is adequate enough to protect the interests of both the employer and the employee. Methodology followed in the research was the black letter approach predominantly. However, the socio legal approach was also followed through observation and semi structured interviews conducted. Moreover, the international standards on work from home was taken as a prototype to recommend a proper legal mechanism for work from home condition. Analysis revealed that both the private sector and the public sector lack proper legal guidelines in terms of work from home condition. Moreover, the types of employment which cannot be functioned through work from home should also be considered and provided with a relief to protect the interests of both parties to the employment relationship. On the other hand, the implementation of management and control during work from home, working hours, contacting hours and facilities should be considered when formulating legal guidelines to work from home. Finally, a proper legal guideline for both private and public sector in Sri Lanka was recommended in the research in order to protect all the parties in the employment relationship which is a much needed gap that required to be filled.
- Law