National, Front Page

Labour law to be revised

Published : 30 Apr 2023 10:33 PM

The government has taken a move to bring another amendment to the country’s labour law this year. 

The initiative of bringing further amendments to the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006, updated in 2018, has been taken so that the law is formulated in line with the recommendations of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the European Union (EU).

The Ministry of Labour and Employment is looking into the matter. A tripartite committee was formed to prepare a report on the draft proposals. The 17-member committee comprised 11 government officials from labour, commerce, textiles and jute, industries ministries, and three each from owners and workers representatives.

The development of the working group was discussed in the last coordination meeting of the Ministry of Labour and Employment held on April 12 with Md. Ehsan-E-Elahi, secretary of the ministry in the chair. 

The meeting decided that the committees formed over the law amendment issue have to complete their necessary work by June, 2023. Md. Towfiqul Arif, additional secretary (labour wing) of the ministry and Md. Raza Mia, a deputy secretary of the ministry; have been assigned to look into the matter. 

Md. Towfiqul Arif of the ministry told The Bangladesh Post on Sunday (April 30) that they were working to prepare a draft presently. “ We hope that we will be able to send the draft of the proposed amended Bangladesh Labour Act to the Cabinet for its approval as soon as possible. We hope that the fresh amended law will be enacted this year after completing necessary process,” he said. 

State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian, MP, at a meeting on Friday said the government has taken the initiative to amend the labour law for strengthening the safety of labourers. The law will be amended soon and after amendment to the law, it will be applicable also in the economic zones to ensure rights and better work environment for workers.

It was learnt that at the beginning of the process for amending the labour law, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has so far received proposals on proposed amendment from 17 stakeholders, including owners and workers.

The labour law review committee is working on compiling the proposals with utmost importance, said Md. Ehsan-E-Elahi, secretary of the ministry.

There are some confusions about the Bangladesh Labour Law and the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Labour Law. The amended Bangladesh Labour Act will be applicable even in newly established economic zones of the country.

Bangladesh Labour Act was enacted in 2006. The law was amended in 2018. The law identifies details of labour recruitment process, labour-employer relationship, minimum wages, payment, incidental costs, occupational hazards, collective bargaining, dispute resolution and workplace environment. The 2018 amendment to the labour law extended the labour rights. 

Bangladesh is making economic progress. The GDP growth rate reached an impressive record level. The country has been known in South Asia for its successful export-led development model. A large and diverse workforce is one of the drivers of the success.

The government has been focusing decent working environment in workplace, eliminating child labour and creating a skilled workforce. The government in cooperation with the development partners is implementing a reform to upgrade the labour right situation in the country.