Bangladesh has been one of the recent preferred choices for new business owners, entrepreneurs, and large corporations looking to move manufacturing overseas. This has been mainly due to its huge population, much of which is below 30. This makes Bangladesh an attractive place to open a business. As with starting a business in any other country, it is wise for the entrepreneur or small business owner who will be setting foot in Bangladesh for the first time to get familiar with local law and customs, especially those that have to do with owning and operating a business.

This means that all employers who set up shop in Bangladesh must follow the rules that have been set up by the federal labor laws, which mainly have to do with the working hours, conditions of employment, salaries, leave, and health policies, amongst others. It pays for new employers who are looking to hire a workforce in Bangladesh to first get familiar with the various rules and regulations that govern employee rights in Bangladesh.

The employment laws in Bangladesh are regulated by the 2006 Labor Act (“Act”) and the 2015 Labor Rules, which apply to all employees or laborers working in either commercial or industrial enterprises. The term “Worker” means an employee or apprentice of an establishment or industry employed directly or via a contractor to carry out specific tasks. This also goes for unqualified, technical, or clerical hires.

Types of Workers

The following are the different categories of a worker in Bangladesh that new employers must be aware of mainly because the employee’s designation is going to have a direct impact on their compensation and benefits;

  • Temporary: This job is temporary in nature and must be completed within a specified time period.
  • Substitute: This means the post of a permanent worker.
  • Seasonal: As the name implies, it means working during a particular season and remaining employed until the end of the season.
  • Probationer: This means being employed during the period of probation.
  • Permanent: This is usually employment after probation
  • Casual: Not regular in nature
  • Apprentice: As a trainee (free or paid)

Work Timings

According to the 2006 Labor Act of Bangladesh, all employees are allowed to work for 8-hours in a single day. Any shift that exceeds the 6-hour work limit should include a 1-hour lunch break, while 5-hour shifts must have a 30-minute lunch break. Workers in Bangladesh are allowed to complete up to 48 hours of work in a single week.

Overtime

In Bangladesh, there are certain rules regarding overtime. For instance, workers are allowed to complete up to 10-hours a day and up to 60-hours a week in overtime. When it comes to those working the night shift, every worker should be given a 24-hour break between each shift.

Wages

Each worker’s wage must be paid by the end of the seventh day after the final day on which the payment is due, according to Bangladesh’s Employee Rights and Labor Law. The same rules are applied for those employees whose employment has been ended by the employer because of various reasons, such as retirement, removal, dismissal, or retrenchment. It should be noted that a wage may mean a salary, bonus, or remuneration for overtime or any other remuneration that is payable during the course of employment.

Employee Safety

Just like with any other country, one of the basic rights of any employee is workplace safety. For obvious reasons, keeping employees in a hazardous working environment will not only result in tragedy or loss of life of the employee but can also stifle the overall productivity of employees. To curb that, the Bangladesh government has made it mandatory for every employer to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees.

The Act requires employers to inspect machinery on a regular basis to guarantee workplace safety. If you are looking for more details, then the provisions governing worker safety are included in Section 75 of the Act of 2006. The Act also forbids personnel from performing tasks where there is likely to be harmful gases, combustible objects, or any other danger. Keeping the employee safe is going to be the sole responsibility of the employer.

Paid and Unpaid Holidays

Some of the holidays that the Bangladesh labor law has sanctioned include weekly holidays, personal leave, sick leave, festival leaves, maternity leave, and annual leaves. Casual leave days are granted due to an illness, minor accidents, or some other urgency that keeps the employee from performing their duties at the workplace. In Bangladesh, casual leaves amount to 10 days in a year and are paid leaves. 14 days of sick leave are granted to employees in Bangladesh in lieu of a doctor’s certificate. Annual leave may vary depending on the industry.

Termination Procedure

The employee or the employer can perform the termination process. The employer can terminate an employee’s contract if it is proven that the employee is convicted or guilty of a crime such as fraud, murder, or stealing. Even deliberate disobedience on the part of the employee is reason enough for the employer to terminate their contract. However, an employer can terminate the employee in lieu of notice without pay or need of a prior warning in extreme cases. In other instances, a three-week notice period is granted to the employee. It should be noted that the termination procedure for permanent or temporary employees varies, so it’s good for new employers to get familiar with the process for each termination.

Employee Absence

If an employee remains absent without warning for more than 10 days, the employer can have been released from service on and from the date of such absence, that is if the employer had enquired about the reason for the employee’s absence.