The cabinet today approved the draft of the Bangladesh Labour (Amendment) Act, 2013 aimed at protecting the interest and rights of the workers and ensuring their safety.
After the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan briefed reporters.
He said the amendment to the Bangladesh Labour Act has been made to make the law time-befitting as well as protect the interest and rights of the workers and ensure their security. “It will also help increase productivity as it has a relation with the welfare of the workers,” he said.
The cabinet secretary said the existing labour law was enacted in 2006. But the law needed massive amendments as the contexts have changed in the meantime.
The cabinet on April 22 in principle approved the draft law with some observation when it was placed at the council of ministers, he said.
Bhuiyan said the proposed law brought outsourcing companies under registration to improve management of the company and prevent exploitation of the workers.
In the proposed law, he said, the group insurance of the workers has been made mandatory for companies with minimum 100 workers.
The cabinet secretary said in the case of the death of a worker, the employer will realize the insurance claim from concerned insurance company and hand over the money to the dependent of that worker directly.
As per the new law, he said, a worker with minimum 12 years of service length would get one- month gratuity for every year of service at the time of retirement or leaving the job.
“But in the case of more than 12 years of service, he/she would get one and a half months gratuity for every year of service at the time of retirement or leaving job,” Bhuiyan said.
The cabinet secretary said the law has a provision to keep consistency between the structural design and outlay of a
factory, while welfare fund will have to be constituted for the workers of the export-oriented garment industries.
In the proposed law, he said, there are provisions of healthcare facilities, direct payment of salary through account, NGOs and trade union dealings, seeking assistance of experts by the CBA and the participation committees.
The cabinet secretary said the council of ministers also okayed in principle the draft of the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) Act, 2013 to replace the 1978 ordinance in this regard.
The ordinance of 1978 automatically scrapped following the annulment of the Fifth Amendment to the constitution by the apex court.
Bhuiyan said the new law has been proposed to maintain continuity of the previous ordinance to run the activities of the BCSIR smoothly.
He said the existing law of the BCSIR, a traditional research organization, was enacted in English in 1978 and now it will be made in Bangla. Besides, some new definitions have been added to the proposed law.
The cabinet secretary said there is a nine-member board and a separate advisory council for the BCSIR. “Earlier, the council used to hold a meeting a year. But from now on, the council will sit twice a year, while more educationists, researchers and scientists would be incorporated in it,” he said.
The cabinet was also informed about the second meeting of the Bangladesh- Vietnam joint Economic, Trade, Cultural, Scientific and Technical Commission held in Dhaka on April 6-7.
Besides, the participation of a Bangladesh delegation led by the Water Resources Minister in the Multi Stakeholder Dialogue on Water in the post-2015 Agenda, The International Celebration of World Water Day 2013 on Water Cooperation and the high-level Meeting on the Thematic Consultation on Water held in the Netherlands on March 21-22 was apprised.
Cabinet members, advisers to the Prime Minister and state ministers concerned attended the meeting, while secretaries
concerned were present.