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Question:

Discuss the current Labor Law practices in Bangladesh. Recommend policies (Changing/redesigning the current labor law) that would be appropriate under our socioeconomic conditions and could be easily implemented.

Answer:
Bangladesh Labor Law a General Description
Labour Law regulates matters, such as, labour employment, remunerations, conditions of work, trade unions, and labour management relations. They also include social laws regulating such aspects as compensation for accident caused to a worker at work, fixation of minimum wages, maternity benefits, sharing of the company's profit by the workers, and so on. Most of these legal instruments regulate rights and responsibilities of the working people.

With the growth and expansion of factories and industries in the subcontinent beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, new avenues for employment were created, resulting in a gradual migration of the labour force from rural areas to mills and factories located primarily in urban areas. At that time, in the absence of any state control or organisation of the workers, the employers were less concerned about the needs of their employees; the work hours were too long, wages much below the subsistence level, and the workers' employment conditions were unsatisfactory. The situation led to the enactment of a number of legislations beginning from the year 1881. These include, inter alia, the Factories Act (1881), Workmen's Compensation Act (1923), Trade Unions Act (1926), Trade Disputes Act (1929), Payment of Wages Act (1936), Maternity Benefit Act (1939), and the Employment of Children Act (1938).

After 1947, the government in Pakistan decided to keep in force most of the pre-partition laws with some modifications and amendments thereof, in the form of administrative rules, to meet the changing needs. Almost the same governmental decision to allow most of these laws to remain in force was taken in liberated Bangladesh in pursuance of the Adaptation of Bangladesh Laws Order (President's Order No. 48) issued in early 1972. Following is a brief
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description of the acts, ordinances, rules and regulations that comprise the labour and industrial legislation of Bangladesh.

Establishments The Factories Act 1881 is the basis of all labour and industrial laws of the country. It contained provisions even for hours of work of women and workers including that of minimum age for employment of children. After the International Labour Organisation (ILO) was formed in 1919, this Act was amended and thereafter repealed, resulting in the promulgation of the Factories Act 1934, which remained in force till 1965, when the Factories Act 1965 was promulgated incorporating some provisions of the ILO conventions. The Act of 1965 applies to manufacturing establishments employing ten or more persons with or without the aid of any mechanical power. It makes provision for safety, health and hygiene of the workers and special provision for women and juvenile workers. It also prohibits child labour. It limits work of a child in factories, including the seasonal ones. For extra work by a worker beyond normal hours, payment is to be made at double the ordinary wage. The periods of adult workers shall be so fixed that either no worker shall work for more than six hours continuously before he has had an interval (for rest) of at least one hour, or for more than five hours without a rest interval of at least half an hour or for more. The periods of work along with rest interval shall spread over more than ten and a half hours in perennial factories and eleven and a half hours in seasonal factories. One weekly holiday is to be granted to all workers. The act also provides for leaves and holidays.

The workers to whom the Factories Act of 1965 does not apply are covered by the Shops and Establishment Act 1965. It also makes provision for cleanliness, fixes working hours, extra payment for overtime work, and special provision for women and juvenile workers. Children workers under the age of 12 cannot be employed under this Act. More specifically, under this Act the working hours in shops or commercial or industrial establishments or establishments for public entertainment/amusement are limited to nine per day and fifty one per week. Overtime work up to one hundred and twenty hours in a year is permissible which is to be paid for at double the ordinary rates. No worker is to work for more than five hours in a day without a rest interval. The Act provides for one and a half-holiday with pay each week.

Under the Mines Act 1923 which applies to workers employed in mines, the hours of work for persons employed on surface are limited to ten per day and fifty four per week. The periods of work including rest interval shall not spread over more than 12 hours in any day. For workers employed underground, the daily limit is nine hours per day. The Act does not contain
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provisions as to overtime work. No worker is to work in a mine for more than six days a week. The Act does not provide for wages for the weekly rest day.

Under the Motor Vehicles Ordinance of 1983, the hours of work of drivers of motor vehicle are limited to fifty-four hours a week and nine hours a day. Exceptions may be granted in certain cases. A rest interval of at least half-an-hour is prescribed for five hours of work. Further conditions of service for workers employed in road transport service are included in the Road Transport Ordinance, 1961, supplemented by those in the Road Transport Rules, 1962. It contains provision for age limit of workers, hours of work and rest, leave and other service conditions. Under this Ordinance no person, other than a driver, can be employed in any road transport service unless he has attained the age of eighteen years, and in the case of a driver minimum age has been fixed at twenty-one years. The Merchant Shipping Ordinance, 1983 and Inland Water Transport (Control of Employment) Act, 1992 contain provisions for service conditions of the workers engaged in water transport services.

Under chapter VIA of the Railways Act of 1890, the railway workers are classified into two categories, continuous, and essentially intermittent. The workers of the former category may be employed for up to eight hours a day and are granted with pay each week a rest of not less than twenty-four consecutive hours. Payment for overtime is 125% of the ordinary rates.

For air transport workers, there are no special laws. Their services are guided by the provisions of the Employment of Labour (Standing Orders) Act, 1965 and in accordance with service rules framed thereunder.

Holidays The Weekly Holidays Act of 1942 prescribes one paid holiday a week for persons employed in any shop, restaurant or theatre (excepting those employed in a confidential capacity or in a position of management). The government is empowered to grant additional half-day holiday with pay in a week. Under the Factories Act, 1965 workers employed in factories are entitled after one year of service to ten consecutive paid holidays in the case of adults and fourteen in the case of children. Workers in mines are not entitled to annual holidays.

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Plantation workers are given least annual leave. An adult worker earns one day leave for every 30 days of work performed. Young persons earn one day's leave for every 20-day work. Plantation workers are entitled to only 5 festival holidays in a year. They get sick leave of 15 days with half-average pay. No casual leave with wages is granted to them. Road transport workers are entitled to one day annual leave for 22 days of work. They are entitled to 10 days casual leave and 14 days sick leave. No provision for festival leave is there in the Road Transport Workers Ordinance of 1961.

Workers employed in the newspapers enjoy enough leave facilities. They earn leave on full wages not less than one-eleventh of the period spent on duty and medical leave on half wages for not less than one-eighth of the period of service, and ten days casual leave with wages.

Entitlement of annual leave with pay under the Shops and Establishment Act of 1965 is in the case of an adult, one day for every 18-day of work, and in the case of a young person, one day for every 14-day of work actually performed by him during the previous period of twelve months. It further provides for 10 days casual leave and 14 days sick leave with full pay in a year.

Industrial relations The Industrial Relations Ordinance of 1969, including the Industrial Relations Rules of 1977 framed thereunder, provides for formation of trade unions and regulation of relations between employers and workers. At the time of the promulgation of this Ordinance, there were three separate laws regulating the relations between employees and employers, namely the East Pakistan Trade Union Act of 1965 which provided for the formation and functioning of trade unions, the East Pakistan Labour Disputes Act of 1965 which provided for investigation and settlement of labour disputes, and the East Pakistan Employment of Labour (Standing Orders) Act of 1965 to regulate the conditions of service of workers employed in shops, commercial and industrial establishments.

The first two of the above acts were repealed by the Ordinance of 1969. This Ordinance provides for various ways of settlement of industrial disputes which have been defined in the Act of 1965. Since public interest is involved in settlement of industrial dispute, adjudication as such through labour courts bears much importance. The labour courts play an important role

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for maintenance of industrial peace through settlement of issues on labour management problems, and hence they enjoy the confidence of both the employers and the workers.

Development of adjudication system was conceptual, brought in by the Trade Disputes Act of 1929, which used to provide for investigation and settlement of trade disputes and for certain other connected matters. A court of enquiry consisted of an independent chairman and one or more independent persons appointed by the prescribed authority. To overcome the difficulties in the Act of 1929 some provisions were made in the Defence of India Rules, 1939 for adjudication of disputes between employers and their workers. This process continued till the expiry of the said Rules on 31 March 1947. The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 came into being on the 1st day of April 1947. The Act provided for establishment of industrial tribunals by the appropriate government in British India. It established a full-fledged industrial tribunal for adjudication of industrial disputes for the first time. Thereafter the East Pakistan Labour Disputes Act, 1965 was promulgated with effect from September 1965. This law like the Industrial Disputes Ordinance, 1959 envisaged constitution of courts under the name of Labour Court by the government. The law also provided for appeal procedure similar to what was included in the Industrial Disputes Ordinance, 1959, against an award of the labour court to the labour appellate tribunal by the aggrieved party.

The Employment of Labour (Standing Orders) Act, 1965 provided for a grievance procedure for redress of individual grievance of any particular worker in respect of their employment or conditions of work or infringement thereof. This widened the scope of the Labour Court and its jurisdiction to look into the grievances of individual workers in respect of their rights arising out of any matter covered by the said Act. This covers cases of illegal dismissal, discharge, lay off, retrenchment or termination of service by victimization for trade union activities or infringement of their rights covered by the said Act, and the Court as such was vested with jurisdiction to provide effective remedy to the workers for any wrong done to them by the employer.

In early 1969, the military government of Pakistan under the changed impact of industrial civilisation and culture, considered it prudent to revise the labour policy in general and to bring about new concept in labour laws. In this background and in order to consolidate the law to regulate the relations between employers and workers as well as for avoidance and settlement of industrial disputes and also to regulate the law relating to formation and registration of trade
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unions, the Industrial Relations Ordinance of 1969 was promulgated in November 1969, which was however drastically amended in October 1970.

The Industrial Relations Ordinance, 1969 envisaged constitution of labour courts with a chairman and two members to advise him, one to represent the employers and the other to the workers. The labour court acts as civil court as well as criminal court and tries offences punishable under labour laws. The Industrial Relations Ordinance of 1969 also provided for establishment of a Labour Appellate Tribunal for entertaining appeals against awards of labour courts on industrial disputes.

Conditions of service Legislation concerning long-term policy as a means of fostering economic stability and growth is relatively a new concept in labour law. There was almost no legislative regulation on the terms and conditions of employment of workers employed in shop, industrial or commercial establishment. The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 came into operation for the first time requiring employers in industrial establishments employing 100 or more workmen to define the terms of employment of workmen in the form of standing orders which should be in general conformity with the model standing orders incorporated in the Act. The Merchant Shipping Act, 1923 provided for an agreement between a seaman and the master of the ship regarding terms of service. The Act was replaced by the Merchant Shipping Ordinance, 1983. In 1960, the Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance, 1960 came into force replacing the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946. This law also was replaced in 1965 by the Employment of Labour (Standing Orders) Act, 1965 which provides for defining and determining conditions of service of workers, workers' and employees' rights vis-a-vis the employer's rights. Under this Act misconduct of workers is defined, and the employer has a right to lay off, dismiss, discharge, retrench or terminate the services of workers. Employers can close down the establishment in certain contingencies. The workers' remedy against illegal dismissal or cessation of employment, grievance procedure against any action of the employer are provided for in the Act.

Wages The government of India set up an enquiry committee in 1926 to ascertain the loophole for irregularity of payment of wages to industrial workers. The Royal Commission on Labour appointed in 1929 considered the reports and suggestions of the aforesaid enquiry committee and recommended for enactment for prevention of maladies relating to payment of wages resulting in the promulgation of the Payment of Wages Act in 1936. It aimed, firstly, at disbursement of actual distributable wages to workers within the prescribed period and,
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secondly, to ensure that the employees get their full wages without any deduction. The Act was passed to regulate the payment of wages to certain classes of persons employed in industry. The object of the Act obviously was to provide a cheap and speedy remedy for employees to whom the Act applied inter alia, to recover wages due to them, and for that purpose, a special tribunal was subsequently created, but due to some inherent defects in the statute the recovery of decreeable wages remained difficult.

The Payment of Wages Act, 1936 remained in force during the Pakistan regime and thereafter in liberated Bangladesh. A major amendment was however made in the Act in 1980 vide the Payment of Wages (Amendment) Act, 1980 (Act No. XXVI of 1980). The Act as amended has been made applicable upon employed persons, irrespective of quantum of wages, and the cases under the Act have been made triable by the chairmen of the labour courts, and provision for appeals has been made to the Labour Appellate Tribunal instead of the High Court Division. The paymasters have been made liable for prosecution on complaint of the aggrieved person.

For fixation of minimum wages, in cases where there is no system of collective bargaining, a board called the Minimum Wages Board was established under the Minimum Wages Ordinance, 1961. This Board declares minimum wages of workers for specified number of industries, but it cannot declare any national minimum wages. In almost all the cases wages are fixed by collective agreements. Under the Merchant Shipping Ordinance of 1983 wages of a seaman are to be fixed by agreement with the seamen.

Social security Statutory provisions exist for only two contingencies, ie employment-related injuries and childbirth. The liability in both cases is entirely that of the employer. The Workmen's Compensation taka 400 per month, including all railway and other categories of workers specified in the Act, eg workers engaged in factories, mines, plantations, loading or unloading, construction or repairs to mechanically propelled vehicles. The bar in amount of wages was removed by an amendment made in 1980 to the Act. The Act of 1923 also contains a list of occupational disease in respect of which compensation is payable.

The Employer's Liability Act, 1938 declares that the doctrine of common employment and of assumed risk shall not be raised as a defence in suits for damages in respect of employment injuries. Under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1939, the Maternity Benefit (Tea Estate) Act, 1950,
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the Mines Maternity Benefit Act, 1941, and finally the rules framed thereunder, female employees are entitled to various benefits for maternity, but in practice they enjoy leave of 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after delivery.

The workers' entitlement in the company's profit at certain rate was made compulsory by enacting the Companies Profit Workers' Participation Act, 1968. Those companies which employ 100 workers or each of which has a paid-up capital of five million or which has the value of fixed assets exceeding 10 million (Irrespective of his/her designation and functions, who draws salary less than taka 9000 per month is deemed a worker under the Act) are covered by this Act. Under the provision of this Act, as amended in 1985, two funds, namely the Participation Fund and the Welfare Fund, have been created with the company's contribution for the welfare of the workers.

The Factories Act of 1965 prohibits the employment of women for cleaning or oiling any part of moving machinery and in factories where a cotton opener is at work. Necessary rules have also been framed by the government restricting the employment of women in operations which expose them to severe risk of bodily injury, poisoning or disease. The Mines Act, 1923 authorises the government to make regulations prohibiting, restricting or regulating the employment of women in mines either below ground or in activities which are attended by danger to the life, safety or health of women.

The Children (Pledging of Labour) Act, 1933 declares void an agreement to pledge the labour of a child below 15 years. The parent or guardian of the child and the employer making the agreement are both guilty under the Act. An agreement to pledge the labour of child means an agreement, written or oral, express or implied, whereby the parent or guardian of a child, in return for any payment or benefit received or to be received by him, undertakes to cause or allow the services of a child to be utilised in any employment.

Women workers The provisions regarding hours of work in the Factories Act 1965 apply to workers of both sexes. The daily limit of nine hours in the case of women is subject to the restriction that no exemption regarding hours of work for women workers in the Mines Act, 1923, which are limited to ten per day and fifty-four per week for surface workers and nine per day for underground workers. The employment of women underground, however, continues to
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be prohibited by regulations framed under the Act. The Factories Act however stipulates that no women should be allowed to work in a factory except between 6 am and 7 pm. The government is empowered in respect of any class or classes of factories to vary these limits to any span of 13 hours between 5 am and 7-30 pm. Under the Mines Act, 1923 women are prohibited to work in a mine either below or above ground between the hours of 7 pm and 6 am. Under the Factories Act, 1965 there is provision for creches in any factory employing more than 50 women workers, a suitable room reserved for the use of children under the age of six belonging to women workers. The Mines Act, 1923 and Mines Creche Rule, 1946 also provide for the maintenance of creches in mines wherein women are ordinarily employed.

Young workers The Factories Act of 1965 fixes the minimum age of children as 12 years for employment in factories. No child is allowed to work in a factory unless he is certified physically fit, and children between 16 and 18 years of age not certified fit as such, are treated as children under the provisions of the Act. The Employment of Children Act 1938 prohibits the employment of children below the age of 15 in any occupation connected with transport of passengers, goods or mails by railway or involving the handling of goods within the limits of any port. It further prohibits the employment of children below 12 years in any workshop wherein the process of bidi making, carpet weaving, cement manufacture, cloth printing manufacture of matches and explosives, mica-cutting and displitting are carried on.

Under the Mines Act 1923, child below 15 years is allowed to work in mines either on surface or below ground. The employment of children between 15 and 17 years underground is dependent on their being declared medically fit. Persons below 17 years shall be employed in such manner that they get a rest interval of 12 consecutive hours out of which 7 hours shall fall between 7 pm and 7 am.

For employment in shops and commercial establishments, the Shops and Establishment Act of 1965 provides that no person below the age of 12 years is to be employed in a shop or establishment covered by this Act. For employment at sea the minimum age fixed under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1983 is 14 years. A young person between fourteen and eighteen years of age can only be carried to sea in any capacity if declared medically fit. Under the Factories Act of 1965 the employment of children under 15 years of age is prohibited for cleaning or oiling any moving part of the factory. The government is further empowered to make rules prohibiting or restricting the workers for work which has the risk of serious bodily injury,
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poisoning or disease. Persons below 18 years of age may not be employed as stokers or trimmers, except in coastal ships where they may be employed if above 16 years of age.

Export processing zones (EPZ) Many workers employed in the EPZ enterprises are not within the jurisdiction of labour laws. The Export Processing Zones Authority Act of 1980 empowers the government to bar application of some laws these zones. Since the Employment of Labour (Standing Orders) Act is inoperative in EPZs, the authority created under the Act has promulgated two instructions on service conditions and pay of the workers. These, however, are not enforceable in any court of law.

The labour laws in this country have been enacted at different times to meet the problems of the day, seemingly without taking into consideration the contents of the existing laws, and in most of the cases relationship with other laws was not taken into consideration, which consequently led to anomalies and contradictions with one another. In 1992, with a view to revising and codifying the different labour and industrial laws in a code, a 35-member National Labour Law Commission was set up. The Commission submitted a draft of a single code to the government in 1995, but no comprehensive law on the recommendation has been passed as yet.

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Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006


CONDITIONS OF SERVICE AND EMPLOYMENT
Condition of employment Classification of workers and period of probation Latter of Appointment and Identity Card Service book Form of Service book entries in the service book Register of workers and supply of tickets and cards Procedure for leave Payment of wages for unveiled leave Stoppage of work Closure of establishment Calculation of one year six months and wages in certain cases Restriction of application of sections 12,16,17, and 18 Right of laid-off workers for compensation Muster-roll for laid off workers Laid off workers not entitled to compensation in certain cases Death benefit Retrenchment Re-employment of retrenched workers Discharge from service Punishment for conviction and misconduct Procedure for punishment
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Special provisions relating to fine Termination of employment by employers otherwise than by dismissal etc. Termination of employment by workers Retirement of workers Payment of Provident Fund Time limit of final payment of workers Certificate of service Eviction from residential accommodation Grievance procedure

EMPLOYMENT OF ADOLESCENT
Prohibition of employment of children and adolescent Prohibition of certain agreement in respect of children Disputes as to age Certificate of fitness Power to require medical examination Restriction of employment of adolescent in certain work Employment of adolescent on dangerous machines Working hours for adolescent Prohibition of employment of adolescent in underground and under water work Notice of periods of work for adolescent Exception in certain cases of employment of children

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MATERNITY BENEFIT
Right to and liability for payment of maternity benefit Procedure regarding payment of maternity benefit Amount of maternity benefit Payment of maternity benefit in case of a women s death Restriction on termination of employment of women in certain case

HEALTH AND HYGIENE


Cleanliness Ventilation and temperature Dust and fume Disposal of wastes and effluents Artificial humidification Overcrowding Lighting Drinking Water Latrines and urinals Dust bean and Spittoon

SAFETY
Safety of building and machinery Precaution in case of fire Fencing of machinery Work on or near machinery in motion Striking gear and devices for cutting off power

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Self acting machines Casing of new machinery Cranes and other lifting machinery Hoists and lifts Revolving machinery Pressure plate Floors , Stairs and means of access Pits-.sumps ,opening in floors etc. Excessive weights Protection of eyes Powers to require specifications of defective parts or tests of stability Precaution against dangerous fumes Explosive or inflammable dust, gas .etc

SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO HEALTH, HYGIENE AND SAFETY.


Dangerous operations Notice to be given of accidents Notice of certain dangerous occurrences Notice of certain disease Power to direct enquiry into cases of accident or disease Power to take samples Power of Inspector in case of certain danger Information about dangerous building and machinery Restriction of employment of women in certain work Power to make rules to supplement this Chapter

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WELFARE
First aid appliances Maintenance of Safety Record Book Washing facilities Canteens Shelters etc. Rooms for Children Recreational and educational facilities in tea plantation Housing facilities in tea plantation Facilities for daily necessities ,etc in tea plantation Medical care for newspaper workers Compulsory Group Insurance

WORKING HOURS AND LEAVE


Daily hours Interval for rest or meal Weekly hours Weekly holiday Compensatory weekly holiday Spread over Night shift Restriction on cumulative hours of work on a vehicle Extra allowance for work overtime Limitation of hours of work for women Restriction on double employment Notice of periods of work for adults and preparation thereof Special age limit for road transport service worker
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Hours of work to correspond with notice and register Closure of shops etc. Casual leave Sick leave Annual leave with wages Festival holiday Calculation of wages and payment during leave or holiday period.

WAGES AND PAYMENT


Special definition of wages Responsibility for payment of wages Fixation of wage-periods Time of payment of wages Wages to be paid in current coin or currency notes Deduction which may be made from wages Deductions for absence from duty Deductions for damage or loss Deductions for services rendered Deductions for recovery of loans or advances Other deductions from wages Payment of undisguised wages in cases of death of workers Claims arising out of deductions from wages or delay in payment of wages Court fees in proceeding under section 132 Single application in respect of a clad of workers whose wages have not been paid or wages deducted

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Appeal
Conditional attachment of property of employer or other person responsible for payment of wages Power to recover from employer in certain cases

WAGES BOARDS
Establishment of Minimum Wage Board Recommendation of minimum rate of wages for certain workers Power to declare minimum rates of wages Factory to be considered in making its recommendation Periodical review of minimum rates of wages Constitution of newspaper workers wage Board Fixation of wages Publication of decision on Newspaper Wage Board Power of Newspaper wage Board to fix interim rates of wages Application to labour court Minimum wages to be binding on all employers Prohibition to pay wages at rate below the minimum rate of wages

WORKERS COPENSATION FOR INJURY BY ACCIDENT


Employers Liability for compensation Amount of compensation Method of calculating wages Review
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Commutation of monthly payments Distribution of compensation Compensation not to be assigned, attached or charged Notice and claim Power to require from employers statements regarding fatal accidents Reports of fatal accidents Medical examination Compensation on Contracting Insolvency of employer Special provision relating to masters and seamen Returns as to compensation Contracting out Reference to Labour Courts Venue of Proceedings Condition of Application Power of Labor Court to require further deposit in cases of fatal accident Registration of agreements Effect of failure to register agreement Appeals Withholding of certain payments pending decision of appeal Rules to give effect to arrangement with other countries for the transfer of money paid as Compensation

TRADE UNION AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS


Special definition of worker Trade unions of workers and employers Application for registration
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Requirements for applications Requirements for registrations Disqualification for being an officer or a member of a trade union Registered trade union to maintain register etc. Registration Registration of trade union in a group of establishments Registration of trade union in civil aviation establishments Registration of trade union Conditions of services to remain unchanged while application for registration Certain changes in the constitution and executive to be notified Certificate of registration Cancellation of registration Appeal against permission, Etc. No trade union to function without registration Restriction on dual membership Incorporation of registered trade union Unfair labour practices on the part of employers Unfair labour practices on the parts of workers Law of conspiracy limited in application Immunity from civil suit in certain case Enforceability of agreement Registration of federation of trade union Returns Collective bargaining agent Federation of trade Union to act as collective bargaining agent in certain cases Check off Participation Committee Functions of Participation Committee

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Meetings of the Participation Committee Implementation of recommendations of Participation Committee

DISPUTES, LABOUR COURT, LABOUR APPELLATE TRIBUNAL, LEGAL PROCEEDINGS, ETC.


Raising of industrial disputes Settlement of industrial disputes Strike and lock-out Cessation of industrial disputes Application to Labor Courts Labor Courts Procedure and powers of Labor Courts in trial of offences Procedure and powers of labor Courts in any matter other than trial of offences Appeal from Judgments etc. of Labor Courts Labor Appellate Tribunal Form of application or appeal Appearance of parties (Costs) Costs Settlement and awards on whom binding Effective date of settlements, awards Etc. Commencement and conclusion of proceedings

WORKERS PARTICIPATION IN COMPANIES PROFITS


Application of the Chapter Definitions
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Establishment of Participation Fund and welfare Fund Management of Funds Penalty Power to call for information Settlement of disputes, etc Delegation of power Investment of Participation Fund Eligibility to benefits Utilization of Participation Fund Utilization of Welfare Fund Fiscal concessions to the companies Tax treatment of income of the Funds Tax treatment of income of the workers Working and location of Board of Trustees Audit of accounts of the Fund Funds Benefits to be in addition to other benefits Special provisions for industries working seasonally Companies engaged in more than one industrial undertaking Entrustment of management of Participation Fund to Investment Corporation of Bangladesh,

REGULATION OF EMPLOYMENT AND SAFETY OF DOCK WORKERS


Power to make schemes Dock workers Management Boards Composition of a board Meetings
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Functions of a Board. Advisory Committee Appointment of officers and employees. Fund Budget Delegation of powers Special provisions for safety, etc. of dock-workers

PROVIDENT FUNDS
Provident Funds for workers ii private sector establishments Tea plantation workers provident fund Board of Trustees Cost of administration Contributions Recovery of damages Provident fund not liable to attachment Priority of payment of contribution over other debts Employer not to reduce wages or other amenities Provident fund for Newspaper workers

APPRENTICESHIP
Application of the Chapter Special definition Tripartite Advisory committee Obligations of employers Relief from income tax ,etc
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Advice and guidance to employers Obligations of apprentices Powers of entry, inspection, etc. Delegation of powers

PENALTY AND PROCEDURE


Penalty for non-compliance of Labor Courts order under section-33 Penalty for employment of child and adolescent Penalty for making agreement in respect of a child in contravention of section-35 Penalty for contravention of the provisions of chapter IV by an employer Penalty for working for payment during permitted period of absence Penalty for contravention of section 67 Penalty for Payment or wages at a rate below the minimum rate of wages Penalty for failure to give notice of accidents Penalty for unfair labor practices Penalty for committing breach of settlement, etc. Penalty for failing to implement settlement, etc. Penalty for illegal strike or lock-out Penalty for instigating illegal strike or lock-out Penalty for taking part in or instigating go-slow Penalty for contravention of section 228 Penalty for misappropriation of provident funds and trade union funds Penalty for activities of unregistered trade unions Penalty for dual membership pf trade unions Penalty for non-compliance with the provisions of section 210 (7) Penalty for using false certificates of fitness Penalty for false statements, etc
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Penalty for wrongful disclosure of information Penalty for general offences by workers Penalty for general offences by workers Penalty for other offences Enhanced penalty after previous conviction Penalty for contravention of law with dangerous results Power of courts to make orders Onus as to age Offences by companies, etc. Cognizance of offences Limitation of prosecution Report of offences Withdrawal of cases

ADMINISTRATION, INSPECTION. ETC.


Director of Labour of Labour, etc. Chief Inspector, etc. Powers of chief Inspector, etc. Controller of Tea Plantation Worker Provident fund Accounts and audit Reports, etc National Council for Industrial health and safety

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MISCELLANEOUS
Power to exempt Notice to chief Inspector before commencement of work Approval of plans and fees for licensing and registration Appeals from certain orders of Inspectors Seasonal factories Recovery of money due under this Act. No deduction for any facilities provided Obligation of workers Conduct towards female workers Service of notices and returns Certain persons to be public servants Indemnity Protection of existing conditions of employment Abstracts of the Act. Rules and Regulations to be displayed Liability of owner of premises in certain circumstance Powers to collect information Presumption as to employment Restriction on disclosure of information Certain matters to be kept confidential Protection of proceedings of Boards General provisions relating to tenure. power, procedures, etc. of boards Payment of equal wages for equal work Court fees in general Restriction upon certain questionings etc. Training on this Act Certain activities of trade union prohibited Bar to jurisdiction of other courts
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Power to make rules Provision for penalty in rules, regulations and schemes Repeal and savings Original Text and Authentic English Text

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Labor Law Some Reform Suggestions:


A research conducted on the garment and construction industries shows that more than half of the workers have been working for not more than three years, with over 40 per cent of the workers in the garments industry registering a work experience of less than a year. This shows the preference of employers for the short-term hiring of young workers, particularly in the garments industry. In the construction industry, most of the workers have longer work years of 3-10 years. However, the prevalence of three types of employment status -- day labourer, contractual labourer and monthly-based labourer indicates a high level of employment informality or flexibility in this industry. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the construction workers are hired through contractors or subcontractors without the benefit of any employment contracts. Thus, both the garments and the construction industries employ flexible (meaning easily replaceable) workers.

In general, the research findings show that workers in both the garment and construction industries are deprived of many of their rights such as the non-issuance of appointment letters and identity cards, the non-observance of OSH standards and social security provisions, the limited space for unionism and collective bargaining, and the weak protection provided by the labor law enforcement and judicial system. Below is a summary of key research findings: Appointment letter: A dream to most workers. Though the law has made it mandatory for employers to provide appointment letter to the workers, a large number of garments workers are still deprived of appointment letter (45.3%). Although garments employers often prepare appointment letters (usually two copies: one for employer and another for global garments buyers), they do not give copies to the workers. In the construction industry, none of the workers reported receiving any appointment letter. Oral contract: pervasive Practice. In the absence of written contracts, what prevails in general is oral contract. Also, a good number (30.2%) of workers do not get identity cards from their employers. Dismissal of workers without notice.

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Over one-fourth (26.4%) of the respondents in the garments industry affirmed that employers always dismiss workers without any prior notice. The situation is more or less the same in the construction industry. 8-hour work, OT rules hardly followed. All the garments workers said that they work more than eight hours daily. Sometimes they work 13-14 hours a day. There are workers who even work extra five hours of daily OT. About one-third (33.5%) of the garments workers do not know the OT rate, with 13 per cent of the respondent garments workers getting less than Tk.10 for every hour of OT work against the minimum Tk.10.80 per hour OT work. For the construction workers, work hours range at 8-12 hours. Low wage awareness. More than half (52.4%) of the respondents do not know whether they are receiving wages according to their grades. A large number (about 40 %) of respondents in the garments industry also do not know whether the minimum wage is implemented at their workplaces. More than half (54.7%) of the garments workers and almost all (98.1%) of the construction workers do not receive pay slip or any other document concerning the payment of wages and benefits. Missing workers participation in company's benefit. Garments workers are not aware about any provision regarding workers participation in companys benefit. Weekly rest day and leaves not observed. Many garments workers do not have the chance to enjoy weekly rest day. Most workers get festival leave but employers often impose conditions to enjoy the leave. Legal provisions on casual leave, sick leave and annual leave are widely violated. Sometimes some employers make wage/salary deductions for the workers to enjoy weekly rest day, casual leave, sick leave and festival leave. In the construction industry, most workers do not have the chance to enjoy these leaves as the compensation policy is simply no work, no pay. Rest periods: irregular. Only 13.2 per cent of the garments workers have admitted that they enjoy regular rest periods, meaning the majority enjoy this right in a highly irregular manner. In the construction sector, 49.5 per cent respondents reported that this right is limited in practice.
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Child labour: still a reality. Both the garments and construction industries still employ child workers (below 14 years of age), per observation by 9.9 per cent of worker respondents in the garments industry and 13.1 per cent in construction. Three respondents happen to be below 14. The employment of child workers in both the garments and construction industries is governed by oral contract. The nature of work given to these child workers are the same as those given to adult workers. Women discriminated in job placement, increment and promotion. Female garments workers are not discriminated with regard to wages. But they face discrimination in job placement, increment and promotion. In the construction industry, females are discriminated in wages, benefits and other areas. High occupational risks, low risk information, limited risk prevention. Workers in both industries face numerous occupational risks and accidents. The most common risks in garments are the pricking of finger by needle followed by cuts in hand. In construction, the most common risk is falling down from high place. And yet, employers usually do not provide information on these occupational risks, as explained by 43 per cent of worker respondents in the garments industry and 65 per cent in construction. Majority (61.8 % in garments and 72.1 % in construction) of respondents said that authorities have not taken any measure to prevent further accidents at their workplaces. In garments, while some measures are taken, these are not sufficient and often done before the global buyers presence. Safety facilities: inadequate in garments and absent in construction. In garments factories, fire extinguishers and emergency stairs are present but are generally inadequate compared to the number of workers. Some factories do not even have these facilities, with emergency stairs even kept under lock and key by some employers. Safety equipments and tools are also not always provided to the workers. A large number (46%) of respondent do not know whether they are provided safety tools. Many workers also do not get any risk reduction training. Only 2.8 per cent of the construction workers get safety tools from the employer. Unfriendly work place environment. While majority of the respondents said that the conditions of ventilation, lighting, temperature and humidity are good in their work place, about one-fourth said that this is not so. In the construction sector, most of the respondents claimed that the facilities
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to contain dirt, heat, ventilation, dust, noise, smoke, humidity and so on are bad or nonexistent. Further, in most cases, there is no safe drinking water. Occupational illness, The proportions of workers who said that they have suffered occupational illness are 18.4 per cent in garments and 29 per cent in construction. Harassments at the workplace. About 40 per cent of the garments workers and 30 percent of the construction workers said that they endure mental harassment (due to verbal abuse and the likes). More worrisome, more than one-fifth (21.7 %) in the garments industry and a few (8.4 percent) in the construction mentioned that they have experienced or faced physical harassment and torture. A few respondents (1.9 % in garments and 0.9 % in construction sectors) also admitted that they were harassed sexually at their workplaces. All these answers were affirmed by the FDG participants. Welfare facilities: available in law only. The BLL enumerates various welfare facilities like first aid kit, canteen, restroom, day care/childrens room, medical care, separate place/room for lunch at the workplaces of the workers. However, a large number of the respondents said that they are not provided with many of these facilities. In the construction sector, very few (9 %) said that they have first-aid kits; most said that the other facilities are generally absent. Violations of maternity and social welfare programs. No factory provides maternity leave for four months and most factories give maternity leave only without pay. Participants also report that female workers many times do not want to bear child because of fear of losing the job. Very few garments factories have introduced provident fund and gratuity for the workers. Group insurance is also not effective in most of the garments factories. In construction sector, workers are completely deprived of all these programs. Garment and construction: generally unorganized. Most of the workers in the garments and construction industries are not organized. Almost all of the respondents mentioned that there is no workers association in their factory or at the workplace. A few reported on the existence of workers association that are not trade union in nature.

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Barriers to TU formation: fear of losing Job, long hours of work. Garments and construction workers do not join trade unions, as they do not want to lose their jobs. Workers in both sectors disclosed that their employers would dismiss them from job if they are found engaged in any sort of activities related to workers association. There are cases where employers send workers suspected of union organizing to police custody. Also, since workers of these two industries log long hours of work every day, they hardly have time for trade union activities. Collective bargaining: limited and informal in nature. Predictably, only 2.8 per cent of worker respondents in the garments industry and 0.9 per cent in the construction admitted that they have knowledge or been involved in collective bargaining with their employers. Moreover, bargaining is of the limited informal type, with garments workers bargaining with the employers through informal mediators and construction workers with individual contractors. Right to strike: widely unrecognized. Only 7.5 per cent of the garments workers and 4.7 per cent workers in the construction said that strikes were conducted at their workplaces. Workers in both industries perceive that the right to strike is never recognized at their workplaces, with some employers even punishing workers who go on or participate in strikes. A significant number of workers even do not know whether they have this right. Limited freedom to express grievances, limited role of TUs and tripartite process. The opportunity for the workers to express their grievances at the workplace is severely limited. Disputes raised at the shop floor are solved mainly through informal discussion in both industries, presumably with the HR departments of the factories. The role of workers associations and tripartite body were mentioned by only a few garments workers. Inspection: fire brigade approach. Most workers said that they never met any government officials coming and inspecting their workplaces. Those who have visited their work places talked only to the employers. Also, inspections take place only after some accidents have occurred, like the fire brigade taking action after the fire.

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Access to judiciary: low awareness. Very few workers get the opportunity to take legal measures concerning conflicts with employers. They usually inform the police about such issue and a few take action through the workers association. A large numbers of workers (68.4 % in garments and64.5 % in construction) do not know whether they can take legal measures against their employers.

Labor Reforms for Decent Work and Industrial Democracy


in the area of labour laws and labour relations, the foregoing research findings and analysis of the Bangladesh labour law system show that urgent labour law reforms are needed. These reforms should be pursued in the context of the DWA, MDG and the Constitutional mandate for workers protection against all forms of exploitation. Align the BLL with international norms, particularly ILC 87 and ILC 98. As a signatory to many of international conventions and covenants related to worker rights, Bangladesh should align the BLL with internationally recognized workers rights, particularly those relating to the core ILO conventions. Promote coherence in the BLL in the context of DWA, MDG and Constitutional mandate on protection for all workers against all forms of exploitation. Strengthen enforcement and administration of labor justice.

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