More freedom for trade union
The cabinet yesterday approved the final draft on an amended labour law that gives greater freedom to form trade unions.
The `Bangladesh Labour (Amendment) Act-2013' also keeps a provision for group insurance for 100 plus workers.
Briefing reporters after a meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said it would protect the interest of the workers and ensure their safety.
However, the cabinet has sent back a proposal by the commerce ministry on signing the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (Ticfa) with the US.
Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Shaikh Md Wahid-Uz Zaman said: “It was not on the cabinet's agenda today. It must be placed in the cabinet for thorough discussion before giving approval and signing as Ticfa is an important matter.”
The proposed labour law has made it simpler for workers to join trade unions and mandated a clinic when there are more than 5,000 workers in a factory.
The cabinet secretary said, in case of death of an employee, the employer will have to realise the insurance claim from the insurance company and hand over the money to the dependants.
Under the proposed law, workers will receive gratuity benefit; a worker will be entitled to a month's basic salary for each year of service in case of voluntary retirement or termination within 12 years of service. In addition, a worker will get one and a half month's basic salary as gratuity for each year for more than 12 years of service.
Factories will also have to pay salaries through bank accounts under the proposed law.
There is a provision in the act that maintains consistency between the structural design and layout of a factory while a welfare fund will have to be constituted for the workers of export-oriented companies.
The cabinet also approved in principle the draft of `Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Act-2013'.