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Hayleys seeks to strengthen Hayleys-EFC journey of 90 years PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 April 2019 17:22

In August 1917, the then Hayleys Chairman S.P. Hayley proposed to the Committee of the Chamber of Commerce that an Employers’ Federation should be constituted under the auspices of the Chamber. This resulted in the birth of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) with S.P. Hayley at its helm as its first Chairman. 

Reflecting on the Hayleys-EFC journey together, Hayleys PLC Chairman and Chief Executive Mohan Pandithage notes: “We are honoured that our former Chairman Mr. S.P. Hayley played a pivotal role in the formation of the EFC and was also its first Chairman.” 

S.P Hayley’s statement at the inaugural meeting of the EFC clearly encapsulated his deep understanding of employer-employee relations, as Hayleys present Chief recollects. S.P. Hayley’s profound statement, “labour nowadays cannot be fought. We will perhaps have a certain number of diehards who think that they can dictate to labour and also refuse to listen to arguments to the contrary; but even they are gradually fading away”, remains relevant to date. 

Since then, the Hayleys Group has had a close rapport with the EFC both as member companies and with top management representing the EFC Council over the years. “We have found the journey with the EFC mutually rewarding and greatly value their advice in managing employment relations,” says Pandithage.

Hayleys, as its present Chairman notes, aspires to add more to this rich history. “We will continue to extend our cooperation and support towards the many important initiatives that are organised by the EFC. We have partnered with the EFC in most of these initiatives, and our employees will also continue to participate in the various fora organised by the EFC both in terms of sharing their knowledge and experience as resource persons and also as learners to gain from the training offered by EFC.”  

Hayleys Chairman goes on to note that the EFC has played an important role in promoting business interests over the years. The acceptance of the EFC as a credible and resourceful tripartite constituent by the other constituents has enabled the EFC to highlight and champion business interests in realms of industrial relations and labour law.

Elucidating on EFC’s role in catering to the ever-changing business climate, especially in the wake of technological advancement, Pandithage surmises: “We believe that the EFC should strongly lobby for the amendment of labour laws that hinder the interests of business whilst ensuring the protection of employees. In this regard, it is noted that many labour laws which are irrelevant to modern times, are not conducive to businesses to be competitive in the global economy. We believe the EFC should continue to guide policymakers to reform policies aligned with technological advancements and business needs.”   

Lauding the EFC for joining hands with the regional chambers to educate SMEs, notably with regard to industrial relations, the senior professional also applauds the other training initiatives it has spearheaded over the past few years. The Executive Diploma in Employment Relations which was launched in partnership with the ILO is among these. 

Encouraging the sessions where employment best practices could be shared which would be beneficial to all EFC-member companies, Pandithage calls for a statistical research unit in a bid to broaden EFC’s canvas. “This unit could gather, analyse and publish data on areas such as staff attrition, industries and sectors, compensation patterns and trends, industry-wide social trends such as women in employment and gender balance in workforce.”


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2019 17:24