Press Release

Survey highlights job termination levels and income security challenges in Myanmar

11 August 2023

Voluntarily and involuntarily job terminations seen to increase since March 2020 with few dismissed workers receiving statutory severance pay.

YANGON, Myanmar – A new survey by the International Labour Organization (ILO) provides insight into employment termination and income security in Myanmar.

The survey targets former wage employees whose employment was terminated – either voluntarily or involuntarily – or temporarily suspended between 1 March 2020 and 28 February 2022.

The findings reveal that during this period 70 per cent of employment terminations were voluntary resignations and 28 per cent were dismissals.

Following the military takeover on 1 February 2021, employment terminations increased 23.5 per cent, dismissals rose 41 per cent while resignations were up 22 per cent. Notably, public sector terminations increased by 392 per cent following the military takeover, with most occurring in the education sector.

The survey also highlights how basic employment rights were often not granted when employment was terminated with only 29.5 per cent of dismissed workers receiving statutory severance pay. Women and youth (ages 15–24) were found to be more likely to receive lower severance pay than men and more senior workers.

Of those who returned to work, 70 per cent found waged jobs and 30 per cent became self-employed. On average it took workers over five months to return to wage employment. Most former government employees who returned to work became self-employed.

Donglin Li, Liaison Officer, ILO Myanmar said, “Workers in Myanmar are facing a uniquely difficult set of circumstances. This survey reveals the urgent need for labour rights to be respected and the provision of social protection improved.”

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Steve Needham

Senior Communications Officer ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

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