Payroll and Benefits Guide Sri Lanka

Last updated: May 16, 2023

Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Employer Taxes
22.75% – 25.75%
Payroll Frequency
Employee Costs
Colombo (executive and judicial capital) / Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (legislative capital)
Date Format
Fiscal Year
1 January- 31 December



Employer Payroll Contributions


Social Security family allowance

2.00% – 5.00%

Social Security (CNSS) work injury


Employees Provident Fund (EPF)


Employees Trust Fund

22.75% – 25.75%

Total Employment Cost


Employee Payroll Contributions

8.00% Total Employee Cost


Employees Provident Fund (EPF)

Employee Income Tax


First 100, 000 LKR of gross salary


LKR 100,000- LKR 141,667


LKR 141,667- LKR 183,333


LKR 183,333-LKR 225,000


LKR 225,000-LKR 266,667


LKR 266,667/-LKR 308,333


LKR 308,333 and above

Employer taxes


Employee taxes


Minimum Wage


The minimum wage in Sri Lanka is 12,500 LKR per month, 500 LKR per day.




Payroll Cycle

The typical payroll cycle in Sri Lanka can be daily, weekly, fortnightly, or on a monthly basis.

13th Salary

There is no statutory requirement to provide a 13th salary.

Working Hours


Standard working hours within Sri Lanka are 8 hours per day, 45 hours per week
There are some industry-specific regulations, for example, according to Section 73 of the Factories Ordinance, a young person shall not be employed in a factory on a Sunday.


Overtime is paid at 150.00% of the standard salary rate. A maximum of 12 overtime hours can be worked in a week. Executive/professional positions might be exempt from overtime restrictions.

Working Week



Paid Time Off

Paid leave in Sri Lanka is outlined in the employment contract as a minimum of 14 days paid leave a year following completion of 1-year service, in addition to public holidays.

Within the first 12 months, leave entitlement starts at 4 days after the probation period and accumulates every quarter.

Carryover over unused leave is per company policy.

Vacation Days
Public Holidays

Public holidays

Public holidays that fall on the weekend are usually lost.

Sick Days

In all cases, sick leave applications must be supported by a medical certificate issued by a registered medical practitioner. In general, an employee who has completed a year of continuous service in the public or private sector is entitled to 100% paid sick leave of no more than seven days per year.

Maternity Leave

All female employees are entitled to a maternity leave of 12 weeks (84 days) excluding weekly holidays, Poya days, and statutory holidays for the birth of the first and second children. This is based on 14 days prior to the birth and 70 days after the birth. This is reduced to 6 weeks (42 days) for the third and any subsequent children, based on 14 days prior to the birth and 28 days after the birth.



Paternity Leave

The father is entitled to mandatory paid paternity leave of a total of 3 days for the state sector only and the leave must be taken within 3 months of the birth.

Parental Leave

There are no provisions in the law regarding parental leave.

Other Leave

In Sri Lanka an employee can be granted duty leave to:

  • Take part in the reserve list of a volunteer unit of the armed forces
  • Attend exams for language proficiency
  • Attend medical examinations
  • Vote for elections


Termination Process

Employers can terminate a fix-term contract by giving the following reasons – business, personal, or employees misconduct. It requires notice and a written explanation for the termination.

Employers are required to pay a half month’s salary for each year of completion if the employee’s service period exceeds five years at the time of retirement, resignation, or retrenchment.

Concessionary tax rates apply to sums paid to an employee on cessation of employment when the scheme is uniformly applicable to all employees by way of compensation, commuted pension, retirement gratuity, and contributions to the Employees’ Trust Fund. Accumulated employer’s contribution to an approved or regulated provident fund when withdrawn, is exempt from tax.

Notice Period

The minimum statutory notice period is determined within the job role and respective contract/agreement, however, general notice periods are for a maximum of six months.

Severance Pay

Employers are required to pay a half month’s salary for each year of completion if the employee’s service exceeds 5 years at the time of retirement, resignation, or dismissal.

Probation Period

There is no clear provision in labor laws on the duration of the probation period in Sri Lanka. Generally, the probation period is six months, however, it cannot be for longer than one year for senior employees or six months for other employees (in some cases the maximum limit on a probationary period is three months).



All foreign nationals must obtain visas to enter Sri Lanka. Foreign nationals intending to work in Sri Lanka should obtain residence visas and work permits. Residence visas are issued for one year and renewable annually.

Applicants for residence visas should obtain entry permits from Sri Lankan missions in their home countries and submit applications within one month after arrival in Sri Lanka under entry visas. The approval of the relevant ministry that governs a particular activity or the BOI, as applicable, is critical in obtaining a residence visa.

Employers are responsible for applying for residence visas for expatriate staff. The Resident Guest Scheme is open to any foreign investor or foreign professional who wishes to contribute to the economic and sociocultural enrichment of Sri Lanka. Five-year visas are issued to individuals qualifying under the scheme. Individuals applying for visas under the Resident Guest Scheme must undergo a medical examination prior to the visas’ confirmation.


The standard rate of VAT in Sri Lanka is 8% (with a current proposal to increase to 12%).

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Payroll and Benefits Guide
in Sri Lanka

What’s covered in this guide:

  • Employer/employee contributions
  • Minimum wage
  • Working hours
  • Visa requirements

And more...

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All questions are answered by our in-house compliance department working in conjunction with our local in-country partner for this specific country

Public Holidays Calendar

Sri Lanka 2023
Day Date Holiday Notes
Friday Jan-6 Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day
Sunday Jan-15 Tamil Thai Pongal Day
Saturday Feb-4 National Day
Sunday Feb-5 Navam Full Moon Poya Day
Saturday Feb-18 Mahasivarathri Day
Tuesday Mar-7 Madin Full Moon Poya Day
Wednesday Apr-5 Bak Full Moon Poya Day
Thursday Apr-13 Good Friday
Friday Apr-14 Day prior to Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day
Saturday Apr-22 Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day
Saturday Apr-22 Id Ul-Fitr
Monday May-1 May Day
Friday May-5 Vesak Full Moon Poya Day
Saturday May-6 Vesak Full Moon Poya Day
Saturday Jun-3 Poson Full Moon Poya Day
Thursday Jun-29 Idul Adha
Monday Jul-3 Esala Full Moon Poya Day
Tuesday Aug-1 Nikini Full Moon Poya Day
Wednesday Aug-30 Adhi Nikini Full Moon Poya Day
Thursday Sep-28 Milad un-Nabi
Thursday Sep-28 Binara Full Moon Poya Day
Saturday Oct-28 Vap Full Moon Poya Day
Sunday Nov-12 Deepavali
Sunday Nov-26 Ill Full Moon Poya Day
Monday Feb-27 Christmas Day