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Bangladesh: Study shows female garment workers are being deprived of maternity leave and childcare rights

"Female RMG workers in Bangladesh deprived of maternity benefits: study" 20 October 2019

Female workers in the readymade garment factories in Bangladesh have been deprived of the benefits they are entitled to as per law concerning maternity leave and childcare rights, according to a study.

The study titled ‘Maternity Rights and Childcare in Bangladesh: A Study of Workers in the Readymade Garment Sector’ found that most of the female workers surveyed did not know about their legal rights regarding paid maternity leave and that many factories did not adhere to the national legal requirements for paid maternity leave or onsite childcare facilities.

The study observed that a significant number of day care centres located in factories were used only during buyer visits to give the illusion that the factories complied with the legal obligations. 

Among the workers surveyed, 66 per cent said that the factories gave maternity benefits while 33 per cent said that the benefits were not provided.

The study also found that many factories had set the eligibility limit for availing maternity leave and benefits much higher than the legal limit and therefore deprived many female workers of these benefits.

Respondents reported that the workload and pressure to meet targets were the same for pregnant workers as others.

The report showed that 25 per cent of the respondents were given some form of accommodation during pregnancy according to their needs and 16 per cent had to sit on a stool.

Twenty-one per cent said that pregnant workers had to remain standing at work for long hours and did not receive any accommodation.