Sri Lanka, July 19th, 2022:
The Centre for Child Rights and Business Sri Lanka (The Centre) in partnership with Save the Children Sri Lanka (Save the Children) and English Tea Shop (ETS) signed a collaboration on a first ever Child Benefit Pilot initiative, that provides child benefit allowance/incentive for parent workers.
Amid the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis in Sri Lanka, escalating levels of child poverty are creating an increased need for social protection programmes that are child sensitive. This Child Benefit Pilot Initiative serves as a private sector led social protection mechanism that will pave the way for a public-private sector partnership in the future. The pilot initiative will be carried out from July 2022 to June 2023.
Through this pilot initiative, English Tea Shop/ Amazon Trading Pvt Ltd (ETS) will support their workforce to invest in their children’s welfare by providing a child benefit allowance/incentive for all staff and workers who have children under 16 years old. This initiative is estimated to reach 143 children (63 boys, 80 girls) below the ages of 16 in the first year. ETS commits to continue this initiative as a company policy beyond the pilot collaboration.
As additional services catering to the needs of the parents in the ETS workforce and their children, this pilot will explore investment in long term solutions to address the mental health and wellbeing needs of the workforce. The services under this pilot include a health clinic for parents, psychological first aid training, home-based early childhood care and development training, community action pack (literacy boost) training, as well as connecting them to available mental health support networks.
Given that this is the first time a company in Sri Lanka is investing in a child benefit allowance, The Centre will work with ETS to set up a monitoring mechanism to track the progress and impact of this pilot on the parents, their children, and the company. The monitoring and tracking mechanism will help improve processes and address shortcomings for developing a case study that can initiate a larger private sector engagement in child-sensitive social protection. With the case study findings, this pilot collaboration aims to propel other private sector companies to take the step forward to explore similar child sensitive social protection initiatives.
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