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Bangladesh: Recent amendments in Labour Act considered a step toward better labour law

Author: Md. Sameer Sattar, The Daily Star, Bangladesh, Published on: 1 January 2019

"Towards a better labour law – recent amendments to Bangladesh Labour Act 2006", 18 December 2018

The Bangladesh Labour Act 2006 (the “Act”) has recently been amended...[The] main beneficiary of these amendments has been the workers. The Act now covers a greater proportion of workers [and other] categories of workers have gained additional benefits...One of the most impactful changes brought about by the Act guarantees financial benefits to new mothers after they give birth. Previously, if a woman had not given notice prior to the birth of her child, if she did so after the birth, she could still avail maternity leave for a period of up to 8 weeks afterwards...however, it was not specified that the post-birth leave period would be paid. The amended Act gives additional clarification that the post-birth leave period must be paid along with other benefits...Workers' families have [also] been greatly benefited by a change regarding payment when a worker dies...It has also become easier and less expensive for workers to register Trade Unions, thus helping to safeguard the rights and interests of workers...

In conclusion, this has been an important step in the journey towards a better labour law. Recent social changes and higher expectations of workers have been reflected. For example, the recent changes in Bangladesh of women entering the workforce in larger numbers than ever before have been reflected in the provisions for better maternity terms, and higher expectations of a better workplace manifested itself in [new] provisions for lunchrooms for medium-sized workplaces. The issue of delays has also been addressed and handled as much as is possible within the legislative framework.

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