Bangladesh to complete labor law changes by mid-2023

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The process of amending Bangladesh’s labor law will be completed by mid-2023 and the amended law will also be applied to all industrial zones in the country, Justice Minister Anisul Huq said.

There is some confusion as to which of the two – the Bangladesh Labor Act and the Bangladesh EPZ Labor Act – will apply to newly established industrial zones. But Bangladesh’s amended labor law will apply to industrial zones in Bangladesh, the minister said.

The Minister of Justice was speaking at the 346th session of the Governing Body of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Bangladesh is continuing its efforts to resolve the complaints raised under article 26 of the ILO Constitution, Anisul said.

After submitting the report to the ILO Governing Body meeting last March, the Government of Bangladesh has made significant progress in implementing the roadmap in about seven months, he said. added.

“The government has been trying to get progress in all four clusters of the roadmap to improve the overall labor situation in the country.”

The minister also said that the government has already amended the Bangladesh Labor Code and enacted the Bangladesh EPZ Labor Code. In this process, the observations of the ILO Committee of Experts have been taken into account.

Assuring the ILO, he said the labor law review process has been launched as the next phase of legal reform. “So far, 17 stakeholders have received proposed amendments. The Tripartite Working Group is working hard on compiling these proposed amendments.

The review committee will further discuss the compiled recommendations or proposals and seek approval from the National Tripartite Advisory Council, he added.

Regarding the registration of trade unions, the Minister of Justice said that this process has been fully digitized to ensure greater accountability and transparency.

The Ministry of Labour, with the help of its four industry-related institutes and 32 labor protection centers, is providing training to workers and employers on the trade union registration process, he added. .

In this regard, regular training is provided to the agents concerned. A pre-application service has been set up by the Department of Labor to help, he said.

“The trade union registration process will be further simplified, if necessary.”

Referring to the significant steps taken by the Government of Bangladesh to strengthen labor inspection and its enforcement in line with the roadmap, the Minister said, “We are committed to continuing our engagement with domestic and foreign social partners and ‘other stakeholders to bring about qualitative change in the labor sector.

He also mentioned the delivery of the ratification document of ILO Convention 138 to its Director General at the 344th Session of the Governing Body.

“In January this year, the Government of Bangladesh also ratified Protocol 29 of the ILO Forced Labor Convention 1930. This is a clear demonstration of our strong commitment to labor standards of the ILO.

The Minister of Justice leads the Bangladesh delegation to the ILO session which started on October 31st.

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