Amended Labour Law Likely to Impact on the Country’s Economy

A panel discussion was held on the 14th of July, under the name of; Implications of Business Related Law: Impact on Investment and Economic Development. It was held at Amyothar Hluttaw (upper house), of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (The Assembly of Union). The aim of this meeting was to discuss and dispute an increasing of fines, and punishment under the amended Labour Dispute Law.

According to the draft of the Amended Labour Dispute Law, those—either employers or employees—who failed to obey the rules of the labour dispute settlement, can face up to six months imprisonment or K10 million. All parties that engage in the labour dispute settlement run the risk of penalties are that are fearsome and hardening, especially for SMEs (small-to-medium enterprise).

However, it is believed that these changes to the law will have an impact on the country’s economic development. One speaker present at this discussion, commented on this issue by saying “These penalties can make foreign investors reconsider their decision on investment within Myanmar.”

Despite opposition from businessmen, labour unions welcome the draft. U Aung Lin, a former president of trade union, views the draft as “strengthening the existing rules, and believes it won’t deter from any foreign investments”.

“It’s been four, or five years now that we have been calling for these kind of changes—to include serious penalties. Now, it is paying off. Before, employers and employees did not take the law seriously, for it lacks serious penalties. From 2012 to 2016, there were frequent labour disputes. But, now there are fewer disputes. I don’t think a businessman of honour will not oppose to these changes,’’ he added.

Labour disputes are common and are not strange to any nation or within the work environment. Therefore, employers and employees should not fear the law, instead, welcome the law and encourage the government to create a fair dispute settlement.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

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