The Parliament has commenced preliminary debates on the Industrial Relations Bill, which intends to guarantee the constitutional right of workers to form associations and take part in activities conducted by such associations. The bill, tabled on behalf of the Government by MP for Maradhoo constituency Ibrahim Shareef, aims to establish trade unions for employees and employers, alongside regulations for their operation. The bill also seeks to create a robust mechanism for resolving disputes between employees and employers through consultation.

As per the proposed legislation, all registered workers’ trade unions and employers’ unions will have the right to form and operate unions as provided for in the Constitution. The legislation will apply to all workers and employers across the public and private sectors, except those exempted by law. The National Defence Force, the Police Service, and persons appointed and dismissed by the President will be excluded from the scope of this bill.

In 2021, the Maldives Trade Union Congress (MTUC), which represents various labour unions, met with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to push for the early passage of the Industrial Relations Bill, a key electoral pledge of the President. MTUC members noted that the implementation of the bill could solve many of the concerns of workers in all sectors.