The government and representatives of factory owners and workers have reached a consensus on raising compensation for workplace death and injury in the labour law.
‘The members of the tripartite committee on preparing draft amendments to the labour law discussed the issue in most of the meetings held by the committee and agreed that the existing compensation amount is poor and it should be increased,’ one of the members of the tripartite committee told New Age on Sunday.
He said that the issue was also discussed in a committee meeting held on Sunday at the Labour Department office in the capital but the amount of the compensation was yet to be settled due to an absence of proper representatives of factory owners in the meeting.
Labour leaders in the meeting discussed the convention of International Labour Organisation related to compensation and proposed an amount.
Meeting sources, however, declined to make the proposed amount public.
‘We are hopeful that the compensation amount would be increased in the labour law but it would not be in line with the ILO standard,’ another member of the tripartite committee said.
As per the Bangladesh Labour Act, the amount of compensation is Tk 1 lakh in case of death and Tk 1.25 lakh In case of permanent disablement.
According to the meeting sources, to address the concerns of the ILO, the government wants to prepare a draft amendment to the labour act before the next International Labour Conference to be held in June.
The tripartite committee has made progress in preparing draft amendments in some areas including definition of workers, trade union rights and maternity leave.
The committee has proposed bringing the shops or stalls in any public exhibition or show established for its own requirement which deal only in retail trade under the labour law through scraping the existing provision 1(4)(e).
It has also proposed bringing hostel, mess, hospital, clinic and diagnostic centre (run not for any profit or gain), ocean-going vessel and agricultural farm where normally less than five workers work under the labour act scrapping the provision 1(4)(h), (m)and (n) respectively.
The committee has also agreed that trade union should be allowed for the members of the watch and ward or security staff, fire-fighting staff and confidential assistant of any establishment and to scrap a portion of section 175 of the labour act.
The tripartite committee has also suggested incorporating a new provision in the section of procedure regarding payment of maternity benefit.
‘The provision is: If any woman gives birth to a child before giving notice to her employer, the maternity benefit will be payable for eight weeks within three working days following the production of proof to the employer in favour of her motherhood,’ the meeting sources said.