The government has taken a move to bring all the business establishments across the country under the labour act as it has found that most of the establishments are running their business without complying with the rules related to weekly holiday, working hours, overtime allowance and closure of shops.
The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments has already served notices on hundreds of showrooms and shops asking them to comply with the provisions of labour law, or face legal actions.
Though DIFE officials claimed that they had issued notices to all types of business establishments in which the labour rules were being violated, it was found that most of the letters in this regard had been sent to the retail outlets of Bata Bangladesh, a multinational shoe company.
‘We have sent letters to most of the outlets of Bata located in the Dhaka metropolitan area as our inspectors have found violation of labour rules in the outlets of the company,’ DIFE deputy inspector general Md Jakir Hossain told New Age on Tuesday.
The DIFE has also sent letters to retail outlets of other companies like Apex Footwear and Bay Emporium and the business establishments in which labour rules are being violated, he said.
The DIFE has been conducting regular inspection to the formal sectors including garments but with its limited workforce it is not possible to inspect all at a time, Zakir said.
In the letters that have been sent to Bata outlets, the DIFE said that the outlets of Bata were not complying with the sections 100, 102, 103, 108 of labour act and sections 99, 100 and 110 of labour rules.
The section 100 of labour act stipulates that no adult worker shall ordinarily work or be required to work in an establishment for more than eight hours in a day.
Subject to extra-allowance for overtime, any such worker may work in an establishment up to 10 hours in a day, it states.
‘Every worker employed in an establishment (a) shall be entitled to one and a half days holiday in a week in the case of a shop or commercial establishment or an industrial establishment and one day in a week in the case of a factory and establishment;......,’ the section 103 stipulates.
‘We are yet to receive any such letter from the DIFE, but the [DIFE] inspectors asked us verbally to comply with the rules related to weekly holiday and closure of shops,’ said Mizanur Rahman, general manager of Apex Footwear.
No Bata official could be reached over phone despite repeated attempts.
Jobeda Khatun, DIG and in-charge of the Narshingdi office of DIFE, said that they also had sent letters to two outlets of Bata in Narshingdi.
‘We have received an instruction from our headquarters for issuing letters to the Bata outlets. But, gradually we will sent letters to all the shops and showrooms in which labour rules are being violated asking them to comply with the rules related to weekly and yearly holidays, daily working hours, overtime allowance and closure of the shops,’ she said.
Jobeda said that she served notice on the Bata outlets asking them to comply with the section 114 of labour act which is related to the closure of shops.
The section stipulates that every shop or commercial or industrial establishment will remain entirely closed for at least one and a half days in each week and the chief inspector will set which one and a half days in which area such establishments will remain entirely closed.
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