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Employee Rights and Protections

Explore workers' rights and legal protections in Bangladesh


In Bangladesh, an employer may lawfully terminate an employee's service on grounds of misconduct, physical or mental incapacity, or redundancy, as per Section 26 of the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006. Misconduct includes serious breaches of discipline, insubordination, theft, fraud, habitual negligence, or acts causing loss or damage to the employer's property. Physical or mental incapacity refers to an employee becoming incapable of performing their duties for a prolonged period. Redundancy occurs when the employee's position becomes unnecessary due to economic, technological, or structural reasons within the business.

Notice Requirements

Employers are obligated to provide written notice before terminating a worker's employment. The required notice periods vary based on the worker's status. Permanent workers require 120 days' notice for monthly-paid workers and 60 days' notice for others. Temporary workers require 30 days' notice for monthly-paid and 14 days' notice for others. However, in cases of severe misconduct, an employer may dismiss an employee without notice, after paying the wages for the notice period.

Severance Pay

The Bangladesh Labor Act of 2006 mandates severance pay in certain situations. Workers who have been in continuous service for at least one year will receive severance pay equivalent to 30 days' wages for each year of completed service if their termination is due to redundancy. If an employer terminates an employment contract without valid grounds, they must provide severance as described above. These severance pay rules do not replace other benefits that an employee might be entitled to.

Additional Considerations

Employees are required to provide advance notice when resigning. The notice periods are the same as those mentioned earlier, varying based on the worker's status. An employee may dispute a wrongful termination through labor courts in Bangladesh.


In Bangladesh, anti-discrimination protections are enshrined in the Constitution and other legislation.

The Constitution of Bangladesh

The Constitution of Bangladesh emphasizes equality before the law and equal legal protection for all citizens. It prohibits discrimination by the State on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. It also guarantees equal rights for women in all spheres of state and public life.

The Anti-Discrimination Bill 2022

The proposed Anti-Discrimination Bill 2022 aims to offer comprehensive protection against discrimination. If passed, it will cover a broader range of protected characteristics.

Other Relevant Legislation

Specific laws exist to address discrimination in certain areas. These include the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000, the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2010, and the Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2013.

Protected Characteristics

Anti-discrimination laws in Bangladesh shield individuals from discrimination based on religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, gender, physical and mental state, occupation, and social standing. The proposed Anti-Discrimination Bill 2022 would expand these protected characteristics if passed into law.

Redress Mechanisms

Victims of discrimination in Bangladesh have several options for seeking redress. These include filing complaints with relevant government bodies, taking legal action in civil courts to seek remedies, and using internal grievance procedures. Many employers have internal mechanisms for reporting and addressing discrimination.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers in Bangladesh have a duty to uphold anti-discrimination principles. This includes establishing clear policies against discrimination in the workplace, educating employees about anti-discrimination laws and fostering a culture of inclusivity, implementing fair and effective procedures for handling discrimination complaints within the workplace, and taking positive steps to promote diversity and prevent discriminatory practices during hiring, promotion, and employee treatment.

Working conditions

In Bangladesh, regulations have been established to outline minimum standards for various aspects of employment, including work hours, rest periods, and ergonomic requirements.

Work Hours

The Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006 stipulates a standard workweek of 48 hours, which translates to a maximum of eight working hours per day. Overtime work is permitted with limitations. Daily overtime cannot exceed two hours, and weekly overtime is capped at 48 hours per month. Workers must be compensated for overtime work at a higher rate than regular pay. Night work, generally defined as work between 10 pm and 6 am, has special provisions, including restrictions on overtime and mandatory breaks.

Rest Periods

The law mandates a minimum rest period of one hour for every five hours worked. Every worker is also entitled to a full day of rest every week, ordinarily on a Sunday.

Ergonomic Requirements

While there aren't regulations explicitly addressing ergonomics, the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006 emphasizes ensuring the "safety, health and welfare" of workers. This can be interpreted to encompass designing workplaces to minimize physical strain and promote worker well-being. The Bangladesh Factory Act, 1965 also includes provisions for ensuring safety in factories, indirectly promoting ergonomic considerations in factory settings.

It's important to note that these are minimum standards. Employers can offer more favorable working conditions such as shorter work weeks or longer breaks. The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) is responsible for enforcing these regulations.

Health and safety

In Bangladesh, maintaining a safe and healthy work environment is of utmost importance. Several regulations are in place to outline the responsibilities of employers, employees, and the enforcing bodies to achieve this goal.

Employer Obligations

The Bangladesh Labour Act, amended in 2013, forms the backbone of these regulations. Key employer obligations include:

  • Safe Work Environment: Employers are required to provide a safe workplace with measures to prevent accidents, injuries, and occupational diseases.
  • Health and Hygiene: Employers must ensure proper ventilation, lighting, sanitation, and drinking water facilities.
  • Safety Committees: In workplaces with 50 or more employees, employers must establish a Safety Committee with equal worker and management representatives.
  • Safety Officers: Workplaces exceeding 500 employees must appoint safety welfare officers.
  • Healthcare Facilities: Factories with over 5,000 workers are required to have on-site health centers for medical treatment of work-related illnesses.
  • Training and Procedures: Employers must provide information, training, and procedures to ensure health and safety.

Employee Rights

Employees also have a role to play in maintaining a safe and healthy work environment:

  • Right to a Safe Workplace: Employees have the right to work in a safe environment free from foreseeable risks.
  • Reporting Unsafe Conditions: Employees can report unsafe working conditions to management or the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE).
  • Compliance with Safety Procedures: Employees are required to follow established safety rules and procedures.

Enforcement Agencies

The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) under the Ministry of Labour and Employment is the primary enforcement agency. DIFE conducts inspections, investigates accidents, and recommends penalties for non-compliance.

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