The process of amending the Bangladesh Labour Law will be completed by mid-2023 and the amended law will be also applied to all industrial zones in the country, Law Minister Anisul Huq has said.
There are some confusions as to which of the two – the Bangladesh Labour Act and the Bangladesh EPZ Labour Act – will apply to the newly established industrial zones. But the amended Bangladesh Labour Act will be applied to Bangladesh industrial zones, the minister declared.
The law minister was speaking at the 346th session of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Switzerland’s Geneva.
Bangladesh continues its efforts to resolve the complaints raised under Article 26 of the ILO Constitution, said Anisul.
After submitting the report to the meeting of the Governing Body of the ILO last March, the Bangladesh government has made significant progress in the implementation of the roadmap in about seven months, he added.
“The government has tried to secure progress in the four clusters of the roadmap to improve the overall labour situation in the country.”
The minister also said the government has already amended the Bangladesh Labour Code and enacted the Bangladesh EPZ Labour Code. In this process, the observations of the ILO Committee of experts have been considered.
Assuring ILO, he said the process of revising the Labour Law has been started as the next phase of legal reformation. “So far, 17 stakeholders have received proposals for amendments. The Tripartite Working Group is seriously working on compiling these amendment proposals.”
The review committee will further discuss the recommendations or proposals compiled and seek the approval of the National Tripartite Consultative Council, he added.
Regarding trade union registration, the law minister said this process has been fully digitised to ensure greater accountability and transparency.
The Department of Labour with the help of its four industry related institutes and 32 labour welfare centers is providing training to workers and employers on the trade union registration process, he added.
In this regard, regular training is being given to the concerned officers. A pre-application service has been introduced by the Department of Labour to assist, he said.
“Trade union registration process will be simplified further, if necessary.”
Referring to the significant measures taken by the Bangladesh government to strengthen labour inspection and enforcement in line with the roadmap, the minister said, “We are committed to continue engagement with domestic and foreign social partners and other stakeholders for bringing qualitative changes in the labour sector.”
He also mentioned handing over of the document of ratification of ILO Convention 138 to its Director General the 344th session of the Governing Body.
“In January this year, the Bangladesh government also ratified Protocol 29 of the ILO Convention on Forced Labour, 1930. Clearly, these are a demonstration of our strong commitment to ILO labour standards.”
The law minister is leading the Bangladesh delegation in the ILO session that started from 31 October.