Social Security high on Hasina govt agenda: Salman

Ministry of Labour with ILO launches pilot ‘Employment Injury Scheme’

Published : 23 Jun 2022 08:52 PM

Social Security is high on the agenda of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government, said Salman F Rahman, Advisor to Prime Minister. 

Salman was addressing the official launching of a pilot scheme, titled ‘Employment Injury Scheme’ as the chief guest at a city hotel on Tuesday evening. 

The ILO in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) has launched the  Employment Injury Scheme (EIS) aiming to provide enhanced social security through income protection with the International Labour Organization (ILO) initiative in collaboration with the Netherlands and Germany (GIZ).

Secretary, MoLE Md. Ehsan-E- Elahi, Country Director of ILO Tuomo Poutiainen, and higher officials from the German, Norway and Netherlands Embassy were also present on the occasion.  Senior representatives from BGMEA, BKMEA, Workers’ Associations, development partners and other national stakeholders also participated in the ceremony. 

Keeping in mind that workers in the ready-made garments industry play a remarkable role in the country’s growing GDP, it is important to consider their rights and security on priority. 

This facility will be expanded to other economic sectors upon success of the EIS-Pilot.  Since 2013, ILO and GIZ have been working together with the Government of Bangladesh and industry partners for ensuring workers’ social and financial security. 

At the inauguration event, Tuomo Poutiainen, Director, ILO-CO-Bangladesh highlighted ILO’s approach towards improved social protection for workers in Bangladesh. 

In his speech, he mentioned that “The launch of ‘Employment Injury Protection’ scheme for RMG Workers in Bangladesh is an important and historic step in strengthening accident protection in the country. ILO is happy to support this effort and work with the Government, Employers and Workers to create a modern and contemporary compensation system for workers and their families that protect their incomes and living when they need it the most". 

Md. Ehsan-E-Elahi, Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment said, “It is a historical day for as we launch the first-ever social insurance scheme, as envisioned in the ‘National Social Security Strategy’.”

Speaking at the event, Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA said “The ready-made garments industry of Bangladesh has made significant progress in the areas of safety and sustainability, especially workers’ welfare and industrial relations. The pilot of the ‘Employment Injury Scheme’ will contribute to the social well-being of workers and employers and above all improvement of the country's social security system.”

Shamim Ara, President of NCCWE stated that through this pilot now the workers have taken a step forward to get freedom from accidental nightmares. 

At this event, Bas Blaauw, First Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands mentioned that “The Netherlands is proud to support the launch of a Pilot on Employment Injury Insurance in Bangladesh, building on the groundwork laid together with partners during the previous years.”

Johannes Schneider, Head of Development Cooperation from the German Embassy said “The EIS Pilot can rightly be considered the peak of this reform process: With the addition of the Pilot, we now have, for the first time, an employment injury scheme that meets international standards in terms of compensation and that effectively protects workers and their families from falling into poverty as a result of workplace accidents and occupational diseases.”