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The cabinet secretary Md. Shafiul Alam presented a news briefing in the weekly meeting with the presence of Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh.  

The labor law of Bangladesh was originally framed in 2006. Later there was a huge amendment to the existing laws in 2013. In 2018, there came some new amendments which were approved by the cabinet.

The goal of this amendment was focused on discipline the workers and owners’ activities by abiding the suggestions of the International labor organization (ILO). The draft of the amended labor law was presented in the international labor conference in Geneva and was accepted by the labor ministry officials.  

  • The law said the support of 51 percent workers would be required to enforce any work abstention or lock-out while it reduced the jail term of a worker for taking part in any illegal lock-out to six months from one year.
  • The law proposed increased allowances and benefits and lessening punitive measures against the laborers while it suggested that working hours of labor, in general, should not be more than 10 hours a day excluding dining and rest time.
  • According to the law, expectant mothers would be entitled to get mandatory eight-week maternity leave and other benefits within three days of submission of necessary documents. An owner may face the penalty of Taka 25,000 on the charge of depriving an expectant mother of maternity leave,” he said referring to the draft.
  • The law suggested that the laborers would be entitled to get festival allowances as per rules and workers of the export-oriented and foreign exchange earning industries would enjoy the facilities from central group insurance policy.
  • Under the proposed law, workers’ participation required to form trade unions at factories will be reduced to 20 percent from the existing 30 percent.
  • Need to finish the registration process of a trade union by 55 days instead of 60.
  • To make it (the draft labor law) suitable to the proposals of the International Labour Organisation to ensure the labor-friendly atmosphere in every factory. Every industrial unit having more than 25 workers must have an arrangement of a dining and restroom with facilities of drinking water.
  • To satisfy the international community. The proposed law was accepted by the conference, according to labor ministry officials.
  • To include the ILO and European Union, and also the United States, have been demanding improved labor rights in Bangladesh for the last five years. Among their demands, workers’ right to trade unionism was the foremost.
  • The draft also proposed punitive actions for workers for acts like physical assault, issuing a threat or mounting undue pressure to compel owners to sign any agreement, disrupting power, gas or water supplies, and unlawful shutdowns.
  • Under the existing law, a child can do light work on the condition that it would not be harmful to his health and his education won’t be hampered.  The draft seeks a total ban on child labor in factories.    

Under the proposed law, no child will be allowed to work in factories. If anybody employs child workers, he or she will have to pay a fine of Tk 5,000, said the cabinet secretary, reports UNB. Violating the law will cause a penalty of Taka 10,000 or one-year imprisonment or both. This is applicable for both worker or owner.

Reference

https://www.thedailystar.net/news/city/bangladesh-labour-act-amendment-2018-cabinet-approved-banning-child-labour-1628449

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