Bangladesh government initiating to make changes in labour rules
The Bangladeshi government has started to bring in essential alterations in the existing labour rules aiming to make it suitable in line with the amended labour law; last year, changes were made in 50 sections of the amended labour law. The labour ministry has recently formed a 10-member committee, headed by its additional secretary, comprising representatives from garment associations- BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) and BKMEA (Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association) and representatives from rights groups. The committee has been instructed to prepare the draft of amendments to the labour law within six months. The committee will propose changes in some other areas, if needed, to make the laws time-befitting.
The key amendments to the labour law includes reduction in workers’ representation threshold in formation of a trade union in a factory, abolition of child labour and terms of SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) related to anti-trade union discrimination. The workers’ representation for trade union registration has been brought down from 30 percent to 20 percent and SOPs have been created.
In the amended law, 16-week maternity leave has been announced as benefit which earlier was cut by employers from workers’ earned leave. Festival allowance has also been included in the law to ensure that all workers obtain the allowance. The other amended issues included an increasing amount of compensation for workers, legal measures if maternity welfare is not guaranteed and labour court judgment duration determination.Bangladesh Garments News