Garment pieceworkers not eligible for overtime pay
Garment workers who are paid for the number of pieces they produce per day will not be eligible for overtime pay as they are employed on a contract basis, according to a notice of the labour and employment ministry issued on Thursday.
The workers paid on a piecework basis did not get any overtime pay earlier also, under section 108 of the labour law of 2006, Labour and Employment Secretary Mikail Shipar said yesterday.
The same section has also been incorporated in the amended labour law of 2013, Shipar said, adding that workers on piece rates are mainly employed in sweater factories, Shipar said.
As sweater is a seasonal product, factories continue such production for nine months a year and are engaged in other manufacturing activities during the rest of the time, he said.
“As a result, payments of these workers are higher.”
However, Shipar said a sub-committee is working to set a minimum salary for the piece-rate workers as well. The committee will submit its report to the ministry soon.
Mohammad Hatem, vice-president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said 15 percent of the total 3.5 million garment workers in the country get payments on a piece-rate basis.
On an average, these workers earn Tk 15,000 to Tk 20,000 a month, Hatem said.
“Even a worker can earn Tk 36,000 a month if his productivity is higher and his factory has adequate work orders,” Hatem said.
However, Sirajul Islam Rony, a workers' representative in the immediate past wage board for garment workers, said sweater factory workers too are entitled to a minimum wage in line with the new wage board award.