The government on Monday approved a draft law styled Bangladesh Labour (Amendment) Act 2018, keeping a provision of doubled compensation for death of any duty worker.
Under the proposed law, the family of a worker will get Tk 2 lakh in compensation for natural death at workplace while Tk 2.5 lakh for permanent injury.The seal of approval was given to the draft law during a regular cabinet meeting at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Emerging from the meeting, cabinet secretary Shafiul Alam told a press briefing that some provisions of the law have been amended to make it worker friendly.
“Under the amended provisions of the law, the family will get Tk 2 lakh instead of Tk 1 lakh for natural death of a worker and Tk 2.50 lakh for permanent injury,” he said.
The existing law provides for Tk 1 lakh for natural death and Tk 1.25 lakh for permanent injury in compensation.
The proposed law also banned child labour, incorporating a provision of fine for employing any child worker. Individuals will be fined Tk 5,000 for employing child workers.
It stipulates that children aged between 14 and 18 can do light work. In the past, 12-year-old children used to get the opportunity to do that type of work.“Under the proposed law, no child will be allowed to work in factories. If individuals employ a child worker, they will have to pay a fine of Tk 5,000,” Shafiul Alam said.
The proposed law also brought down the workers’ representation to 20 per cent from the existing 30 percent in forming a trade union at the factory.
Under the proposed law, the percentage of workers’ participation required for forming trade union will be reduced to 20 per cent from 30 percent, the cabinet secretary said.
“The bill has been prepared and updated following the observation of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The amended law will be a labour-friendly one,” he added.
Punishment of workers for violating laws has been reduced by 50 percent while workers will get new facilities as per the draft law.
Under the proposed law, Shafiul Alam said, mentally and physically-challenged labourers cannot be employed in any risky jobs.
According to section 47 of the draft law, if any female worker gives birth to a baby, she will get an 8-week leave within three days after informing the authorities. If the factory authorities do not allow her to go on leave, they will be fined Tk 25,000.
Besides, if any worker does his or her duty during any festival, he/she will get a two-day leave and wage for the two days after the festival.
Both owners and workers will be sentenced to one year jail with a fine of Tk 10,000 for misconduct, which was two years in the previous law.
Section-195 of the draft law will be applicable for factory owners and section 196 for labourers and workers.
In the draft law, punishment for enforcing strike illegally has been reduced to six months from one year.
Under the draft law, the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment has been upgraded to the level of Directorate.
The post of the chief inspector of the department is now inspector general, while deputy director general is additional inspector general, and the post of labour director has been upgraded to director general, Shafiul Alam said.