The Department of Labour was initially established to look into the welfare of Indian Immigrant Labour and was called the Department of Indian Immigrant Labour. Enactment of Indian Immigrant Labour Ordinance No. 1 of 1923 provided for the establishment of the Department of Indian Immigrant Labour.


However, with the gradual expansion of the indigenous segment of the labour force, labour perse became a force to be reckoned with. In these circumstances the colonial rulers were compelled to look beyond their limited scope of looking into the welfare of Indian Immigrant Labour and had to take measures for the welfare and well-being of all the workers alike, Accordingly, in 1931 the Department of Indian Immigrant Labour was transformed into the General Department of Labour- the state agency responsible for ensuring the welfare of both Indian Migrant Labour as well as indigenous labour, Initially the Head of the Department was designated as Controller of Labour, but in 1944 the Head was re-designated as Commissioner of Labour and year 2000 as Commissioner General of Labour.


For the protection and welfare of labour during the period of over eighty five years, over forty legislations have been enacted covering a wide spectrum of activities. Basically, implementation of these has been the task of the Department. In addition, the Department has also been involved in activities such as worker education, human resources placement, labour market information, Social dialogue and monitoring complaints etc. which social development and quality of work life.


The staff of the Department in order to meet the emerging demands for various services, over time has gradually grown up. Currently, the staff strength is over one thousand. The administrative organization constitute 17 divisions at the head office level entrusted with different functions, and a network of regional offices comprising 11 Zonal Deputy Commissioners’ offices, 36 District Labour Offices, 12 Labour Sub Offices, 9 District Factory Inspecting Engineer Offices to carry out activities at the regional level.

The following are the main activities carried out by the Department

  • Enforcement of Labour Laws and settlement of industrial disputes.
  • Implementation of Social Security Schemes.
  • Monitoring occupational hygiene and prevention of industrial accidents.
  • Regulating employment of persons, undertaking planning and research in the field of labour, educating social partners with a view to promoting employer-employee relations.
  • Labour Market Information Service.
  • Collection, Compilation and dissemination of Labour Statistics.
  • Registration of Trade Unions.
  • Work closely with the Ministry of Labour Relations & Manpower in fulfilling Sri Lanka’s obligations as a member of the ILO.

For more Information Department of Labour

This institute has been established by the National Institute of Labour Studies Act No. 12 of 2010. The main role of the National Institute of Labour Studies is to conduct various training courses (diploma and certificate courses), conduct research, work closely with local and foreign organizations, associations and enter into various agreements to enhance the productivity of the public and private sector workers. The institute is governed by a board and has 19 members.

Chairman – Mr. R P A Wimalaweera


Director General – Mr. W M D Suranga Gunarathne
Director General Telephone Number – 0112786551
Director General Fax number – 0112786546


Office Telephone Number – 0112786541
Address – Second Floor, Labour Secretariat, Narahenpita, Colombo 05


For more Information – National Institute of Labour Studies

This Institute was established to create awareness among the Employer-Employee Sector for securing the Occupational Safety and Health of workers and to create a wide knowledge regarding this subject among the relevant stakeholders.


The drafting of the Act for establishing this Establishment is complete and step are being taken to obtain the assent by Parliament.

Educational, training and research activities are already in progress.

Contact Information,
Dr. (Ms) Champika Amarasinghe
Acting Director General
Tel : + 94 011-2502683
Fax : + 94 011-2585425


For more Information – National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

The primary role of the Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation, who enjoys the powers of a Civil Court, is to implement the Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance No. 19 of 1984 as amended Finally in the year 2005.


The objective of this Ordinance is to obtain compensation from employees to workmen injured from accidents while at work or to workmen suffering from diseases attributable to the nature of employment and to their dependents in case of death of workmen from such causes. The Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation carries out the following activities to realize the above objective.


Receipt of complaints claiming workmen’s compensation. Conducting inquiries into the accepted applications for compensation and settlement of the problem either by obtaining the claim or by rejecting it. Collection of compensatory payments from employers. Payment of compensation to disabled or diseased workmen or to the dependents of dead workmen.


According to the provisions to the Ordinance inquiries into payment of compensation should be conducted in the area itself where the accident occurred. Therefore, mobile courts are held in many places on the Island.


The payment of compensation by employers in case of fatal accidents should be through the Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation. But compensation in the case of non-fatal accidents can even be paid directly to the disabled or deceased workmen with the approval of the Commissioner for Workmen’s compensation. When such direct payment is made a memorandum stating that the payment was made with the agreement of both the employer and the workmen should be signed and sent to the Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation to be registered at his office.


For the benefit of under aged dependents of deceased workmen, the compensation due to them is deposited with the National Savings Bank, under the trusteeship of the Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation. After they complete 18 years of age the passbooks concerned are handed over to them. If there is evidence to show that a child who has not attained the due age limit needs assistance for education, maintenance or medical treatment, the interest due on the amount lying to the credit of the under-aged dependant, at the bank, can be paid to the guardians, at the discretion of the Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation

Contact Information,
Administrative Officer
Tel : + 94 011-2599662
Fax : + 94 011-2055267


For more Information – Office of the Commissioner of Workmen’s Compensation

NPS uses unions’ methodologies to disseminate knowledge on productivity and make every citizen aware of productivity concepts.
Productivity promotion in Sri Lanka was emphasized in 1966 after Sri Lanka got the Membership of the Asian Productivity Organization. Hon. Dudley Senanayake, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka signed the agreement on behalf of the Sri Lanka government at that time. Having been a member of the Asian Productivity Organization, Sri Lanka established a management development & productivity centre under the Ministry of industries in 1968. In order to disseminate productivity knowledge throughout the Island, the aforesaid management development & productivity unit was converted to the National Institute of Management (NIM). Later, NIM was reformed as NIBM (National Institute of Business Management). The scope of the NIBM was widened to various fields such as Marketing, IT etc. In 1994, the Ministry of Industries felt the need of strengthening of National Productivity Organization in Sri Lanka. Hence, a separate unit was formed and it was called National Productivity Secretariat (NPS).

“Enhance Sri Lankan productivity by energizing the sector to face international competition and
to uplift the living standard of our people through national development”.

For more Information – National Productivity Secretariat

The Department of Manpower and Employment was established by the Gazette Notification
No. 1640/31 dated 12.02.2010 .The power to perform the following functions was vested in the Department by that Gazette Notification.

1. Formulation and implementation of National Policy on Manpower and Employment
2. Employment creation and promotion
3. Career guidance Programme
4. Labour market information, Collection Analysis & Dissemination (Research) Market
5. Services offered by jobs net (PES)


Vision – Our vision is to lead in the creation and delivery of innovative workforce solutions and
services that enable our clients to win in the changing world of work.


Mission – Develop a Productive Human Resource Capitalwhile ensuring the quality work ethic culture with a concerted focus on employer satisfaction, exploit creation of value for the stakeholders, and
accomplish leadership in developing, adopting, and assimilating state-of-the-art human resource capital for competitive advantage.


Director General – Mr. K.G.H.H.R. Kiriella

Office Telephone Number – +94113094117

Address – 9th floor, Sethsiripaya 2nd stage, Battaramulla

For more Information