Labour and Employment Law

Labour and Employment Law


Overview of Labour and Employment Law in Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s labour and employment laws, primarily governed by the Bangladesh Labour Act 2006, aim to protect workers’ rights and ensure fair workplace practices. This legislation consolidates various laws related to employment, wages, working hours, trade unions, and industrial disputes, promoting safe and equitable working conditions in the formal sector.


Employment Contracts and Working Hours

Employment contracts in Bangladesh must detail job responsibilities, working hours, wages, and benefits. The standard working week is 48 hours, spread over six days, with a maximum of eight hours per day. Overtime is allowed but must be paid at twice the regular rate. Employers must provide annual leave, sick leave, and public holidays as stipulated by law.


Wages and Benefits

The Bangladesh Labour Act sets minimum wage requirements to ensure fair compensation. Wages must be timely, with regulated deductions. Employees are entitled to benefits like gratuity, provident fund, and compensation for workplace injuries. The government regularly reviews and adjusts the minimum wage to match living costs and economic conditions.


Health and Safety Regulations

Employers in Bangladesh must provide a safe working environment, including proper ventilation, lighting, sanitation, and emergency measures. Compliance with safety standards is enforced through regular inspections. The law also mandates medical facilities and health insurance for workers to ensure their well-being.


Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining

The right to form and join trade unions is protected under the Bangladesh Labour Act. Unions represent workers’ interests and engage in collective bargaining with employers to secure better wages and working conditions. Industrial disputes are resolved through negotiation, mediation, and arbitration to maintain industrial peace.


Challenges and Reforms

Despite comprehensive labour laws, challenges like child labour, low wages, and poor working conditions persist, especially in the informal sector. The government, with support from international organizations and civil society, is working on reforms to strengthen labour laws and improve compliance. Efforts include better enforcement, worker education, and promoting corporate social responsibility among employers.