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The Department of Labour was started under the Indian Immigrant Labour Ordinance No. 01 of 1923, with the objective of providing welfare for migrant Indian estate Labourers. With the gradual realization of the Importance of the Local Labour Force, activities pertaining to the security and welfare of Labour Force were entrusted on a Labour Controller. Later, the Post of Labour Controller was changed in to the Commissioner of Labour, and in 1994, the Post of Commissioner General of Labour was created with comprehensive powers. The legislature has taken steps to pass about 50 basic legislations during the past 94 year period towards the welfare and protection of the Labour Force. The fundamental function of the Department of Labour is to implement these legislations. For this purpose, these functions are implemented Under 13 Principle Divisions of the Department, and in addition to that, 11 Zonal Labour Offices,40 District Labour Offices, 17 Sub-Labour offices and 10 District Factory Inspecting Engineer's Offices are functioning.


A country with everlasting industrial peace for an internationally competitive economy.


To contribute to the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka through establishment of a decent work environment within secured industrial peace, while protecting labour rights.


  • Settlement of industrial disputes through the enforcement of labour laws to maintain industrial peace within the country
  • Creating awareness among the working community regarding labour laws and promotion of social dialogue to establish industrial peace in the country
  • Implementation of labour standards relevant to the trades, conduct of surveys on new trades and formation of standards for those trades in accordance with international standards
  • Promotion of Employees' Provident Fund (EPF), awarding its benefits to members and supervision of Approved and Private Provident Funds
  • Enforcement of laws pertaining to the security of children, women and young persons in employment
  • Introduction of methodologies to be followed to ensure security and health in industries and creating awareness and supervision of the same