An overview on the implication of "Bangladesh labor code 2006" in the tannery industry
An Overview on the Implication of “Bangladesh Labor Code
2006” in the Tannery Industry of Bangladesh.
An Overview on the Implication of “Bangladesh Labor Code
2006” in the Tannery Industry of Bangladesh.
Prepared forShakil Huda
IBA, University of Dhaka.
Prepared bySadman Prodhan
Institute of Business Administration
University of Dhaka.
Date- 10th December 2012
December 10, 2012
Institute of Business Administration
University of Dhaka.
Submission of Term Paper.
I hereby submit the term paper on “An Overview on the implication of
‘Bangladesh Labor Code 2006’in the Tannery industry of Bangladesh”.
During the research of the term paper I understood the importance of the
Labor code in a country like Bangladesh where most of the workers are
uneducated. Most of the labors are unaware about their rights and benefits.
They are ignorant about their health, hygiene, safety and welfare. So I
focused on the comparison of the wages and payments, working hours and
leaves, maternity benefits, employment of adolescent, welfare in Tannery
industries. I hope that my term paper will be helpful for any person who
wants to evaluate the implication of Labor Code 2006 for workers in
I will be happy to assist you with any concern regarding this issue. Hoping
for your appreciation-
The main purpose of this term paper is to provide an insight view of the
condition of the workers working in one of the major industries of
Bangladesh. The comparison is totally centered on the Bangladesh Labor
The focus of this report is mainly on the wages and payments, working
hours and leaves, maternity benefits, welfare, employment of adolescent
regarding the Bangladesh Labor Code, 2006. This paper will provide a brief
view of the Labor code as well as its implication and application in different
situation. It will also explain how the workers are deprived of their legal
rights and how the industries consciously violating the Labor code.
The comparative analysis shows that only a few numbers of visited tanneries
covers the majority of the labor code. Most of the companies as well as the
workers are unaware of the labor code and the rights and limitations
provided on the labor code. So the workers are constantly deceived of their
rights in these industries.
The revision on the Bangladesh labor code in 2006 covers a lot of the
common standard issues like environmental condition, health and safety, as
well as wages and working hours. This revision complies with international
standards and ensuring the implication of these codes, our industries will
definitely attract foreign market.
An Overview on the Implication of “The Bangladesh Labor
Code 2006” in the Tannery Industry of Bangladesh.
Origin of the Report
As a vital part of the Legal Environment of Business course every student is
required to prepare a term paper on labor law or company law under
Professor Shakil Huda (course Instructor). So the topic that I have chosen for
my term paper is “Study on the Implication of ‘The Bangladesh Labor Code,
2006’ in the Tannery Industry of Bangladesh”.
The objective of this term paper is to serve as a compilation of knowledge
about the implication and violation of labor act in one of the leading
industries of Bangladesh. Another objective of this paper is to understand
the Labor laws related with several issues like wages, working hours, safety,
welfare, health, hygiene etc. It will help the worker to understand their rights
and responsibilities. It will also help the employer to understand their duties
and limitations towards the Labors.
This term paper mainly deals with a few tanneries of Bangladesh and will
cover the areas regarding wages and payments, working hours and leaves,
maternity benefits, safety, welfare, health and hygiene, accidents and
The term paper is based on 4 tanneries located in different areas Hazaribagh
in Dhaka city. The visited tanneries are Apex Tannery Ltd, Dhaka Hides and
Skins Ltd, Karim Leather Company and Samina Tannery. Among them
Apex and Dhaka hide are larger and maintains good profile while Karim and
Samina Tannery are of comparatively low profile. A questionnaire was
developed and depending on that a data were collected through fieldwork.
The primary sources were several leather technologists and a few numbers
of labors. And secondary sources were a number of textbooks, journals,
newspapers and the Labor Code, 2006 itself.
The limitation of the study was that during the visit in tannery it was
difficult to talk with the labors. Only the technologists were available to
collect the required data. Labors were interviewed in lunch time or at
afterward of the official time. The tannery owners wouldn’t let their
employees to talk with outsiders. So the conversation were kept discreet and
I had fewer chance to verify the collected data
2. Implementation and Violation of Labor Code, 2006
2.1 Wages and Payments
Chapter 10 of the Labor code deals with provisions related to payments and
wages of the labor. Wages include the following items as per section 120.
a. Any bonus or additional remuneration payable as per the terms of
b. Any remuneration payable in respect of holidays, leave or overtime
c. Any remuneration payable under order of any court or any award or
settlement between the parties.
d. Any sum payable under this code or any agreement by reason of
termination of employment whether by way of discharge,
retrenchment, retirement, removal, resignation, dismissal, or
e. Any sum payable due to lay off or suspension.
Section 2, clause 45 also provides information regarding Wages. It statsa. The value of any house accommodation, supply of light, water,
medical attendance or other amenity or any other service excluded by
general or special order of government.
b. Any contribution paid by the employer to any pension fund or
c. Any traveling allowance or the value of any traveling concession.
d. Any sum paid to the worker to defray special expenses entailed on
him by the nature of his employment.
But as per different court decision of the court of Bangladesh, the
following are also treated as part of wages of a worker.
a. Any amount payable to worker by the order of the court or the award
of the arbitrator shall be treated as wages.
b. Overtime allowance shall be treated as wages.
c. Compensation on retrenchment shall be treated as wages.
d. Allowance during lay off or temporary termination shall be treated as
e. Increment shall be treated as wages
f. Compensation at the expiry of the employment by any means like
dismissal, discharge or otherwise shall be treated as wages.
g. Gratuity on discharge or other gratuity shall be treated as wages.
h. House rent allowance shall be treated as wages.
i. Wages during leaves and holidays should be treated as wages.
There are two major way of payment in tannery industry. The first one is
‘monthly wages’ and the other one is ‘payment on daily bases’. Monthly
wages are paid in the high profile tanneries like Apex Tannery Ltd,
Dhaka Hides and Skins Ltd where the workers hold a permanent job. But
in the low profile industries like Karim Leather Ltd, Samina Tannery etc
pays their worker in daily basis and their jobs are temporary or
conditional. They actually hire labor for a fixed period through a
contractor. After the end of job the workers are free agents. They can
work on any tannery. The permanent workers are paid about 4000-10000
BDT depending on their skills and experience. On the other hand the
temporary workers get their wages in term of hours. It is about 130-200
BDT per hour.
The permanent workers enjoy the benefits of overtime while the daily
basis workers are deprived of it. They permanent workers are provided
with an overtime of 35-50 BDT for each hour. So for the temporary
workers SECTION- 120 is violated where there is a clear word about
The high profile tannery does not deduct any portion of wages for
absenteeism or leave but the majority of the tanneries does not provide
payment on leaves or absences. Which again violate of section 120.
There is a few numbers of tanneries like Samina Tannery which provides
a conditional advance salary which is a very rare case in the tannery
industry. But this benefit of advance salary completely depends on
experience and skill of the worker.
2.2 Working Hours and Leaves
2.2.1 Daily Hours
Chapter 09 of the Labor code deals with provisions related to Working
hours and Leaves. According to section 100“No adult worker shall ordinary be required or allowed to work in an
establishment for more than 8 hours in any day.”
Provided that subject to provision of section 108 an adult worker may
work in an establishment not exceeding 10 hours in any day. According
to section 1081. Where a worker works in an establishment for more than the
prescribed hours in any day or any week under this code, he
shall, in respect of overtime work, be entitled to allowance at
the rate of twice of his basic wages, dearness allowance and adhoc or interim wages, if any.
2. where any worker in establishment is paid on a piece rate basis,
the employer, in consultation with the representatives of the
workers, may, for the purpose of this section, fix time rates as
nearly as possible equivalent to the average rates of earnings of
those workers, and the rates so fixed shall be deemed to be the
ordinary rates of wages of those workers.
3. The government may prescribe the registers to be maintained in
an establishment for the purpose of securing compliance with
the provisions of section.
2.2.3 Weekly Hours
Another section provides the provision about the weekly hours. According to
section 1021. No adult worker shall ordinary be required or allowed to work in an
establishment for more than forty eight hours in any week.
2. Subject to the provision of section 108, an adult worker may work for
more than 48 hours (Overtime) in a week.
Provided that the weekly hour should not exceed 60 hours.
2.2.4 Weekly Holidays
According to section 103Every worker working in any establishment shall,
a. In case of shops, commercial or industrial establishment, be entitled to
one and half day, and in case of factories and other establishment one
day as weekly holiday.
b. In the case of road transport establishment, be entitled to one day of
twenty four consecutive hours of weekly holiday and no deduction
from his wages is allowed for such leaves.
2.2.5 Annual Leave with Wage
Section 17 of the labor law deals with the provision of annual leave with
wages. The section provides as follows1. Each worker who has completed one year of continuous service in a
factory shall be allowed during the subsequent period of twelve
month’ leave with wages for a number of day calculated at the rate ofa. for adult workers one day for every eighteen days of work performed
by her/him during previous twelve months.
b. For adolescent worker one day for every fifteen days of work
performed by him/her during the previous twelve months.
2. An adult worker should cease to earn any such leave when the leave
due to her/him amounts to forty days and an adolescent worker shall
cease to earn the said leave when the leave due to him/her amounts to
2.2.6 Festival Holidays
Provision of labor law stats that1. Every worker shall be entitled to eleven day festival-leave for every
calendar year. The employer shall at the beginning of the year fix the
date of such leaves.
2. The employee may require any worker to work on a festival holiday
provided that two day additional compensatory holidays with full pay
and one alternative holiday should be given to him/her under section
2.2.7 Casual Leave
Section 115 stats thatEvery worker shall be entitled to casual leave with full wages for ten
days in a calendar year; and if such leave is not availed, it will not be
accumulated and carried forward to the succeeding year.
2.2.8 Sick Leave
According to section 1161. Every worker other than a newspaper worker shall be entitled to sick
leaves with full wages for a total period of fourteen days in a year.
2. Every newspaper worker shall be entitled to sick leave on half wages
for not less than one-eighteen of the period of service.
3. No such leave shall be allowed unless a registered practitioner
appointed by the employer, and in the absence of such practitioner,
any other registered practitioner certifies on examination that the
concerned worker is sick and needs leaves for such period as
mentioned in the certificate for his treatment.
4. Such leaves shall not be accumulated and carried forward to the
The Labor code, 2006 directly stats that the working hour of a worker shall
be not more than 8 hours. But in reality the working hour of most tanneries
are about 9-11 hours other than a small number of tanneries. These hours are
considered as the working hour not the overtime. On the other hand most of
the tanneries pay only 35-50 BDT per hour for overtime while it directly
violates the provision of section 108 which stats that overtime should be
paid double than the regular wages. Weekly hour of work of a worker is way
higher then the stated one. Weekly Leaves are allowed properly in the
tanneries but during the pick hour of tannery industry which is after Eid-UlAdha does not sufficiently provide weekly holidays. And the fact is that the
workers are not paid according to the provision of labor law during this
period. Weekly leaves and annual leaves are duly provided with wages but
casual leaves and sick leaves do not provide any wages to the worker. Only a
few high profile tanneries like Apex tannery Ltd, Dhaka hides and skins Ltd,
Bay tannery Ltd provides leaves with wages.
So the analysis shows that the provisions of Labor code, 2006 regarding
working hours and leaves in tannery industry need to be revised. There are a
number of violations of sections which require to be brought under justice
and the worker should be trained about their rights regarding working hours
2.3.1 Maternity Leave
Every women worker has her right to get her maternity benefit. According to
section 461. Every women employed in an establishment shall be entitled to, and
her employer shall be liable for the payment of maternity benefit in
respect of the period of eight weeks immediately following her day of
2. No women shall be entitled to such benefits if she has, at the time of
delivery, two or more surviving children, but in the case she shall be
entitled to any leave to which she is otherwise entitled.
Provided that a woman shall not be entitled to such maternity benefit unless
she has worked with the employer for not less than six months immediately
preceding her day of delivery.
2.3.2 Procedure of Payment of Maternity Benefit
Three options are open to the mothers as per section 47 of labor law.
1. The owner shall pay the total benefit payable for the preceding eight
weeks within three days from the submission of the certificate of the
probability of delivery by a registered physician and shall pay the
remaining amount after three working days of the submission of the
2. The owner shall pay the benefits payable for the proceeding eight
weeks including the day of the delivery within three days of the
submission of the proof of delivery and pay the remaining within the
next eight weeks after the proof of delivery submitted.
3. The owner shall pay all the benefit payable within three days from the
submission of the proof of delivery to the owner.
2.3.3 Benefits in case of death of the mother
The person nominated by the mother who died, or in the case where no such
person is nominated, her legal representative, shall be entitled to receive the
benefits as described above. Section 45 stats that1. If a women entitled to maternity benefit under this chapter dies on the
day of the delivery or during the period of eight weeks thereafter in
respect of which she is entitled to the maternity benefit, the employer
shall pay the amount of maternity benefit due, if the newly born kid
survives her, to the person who undertakes the care of that child and,
if the child does not survive her, the person nominated by her under
this chapter or, if she has made no so nomination, to her legal
2. If a women dies during the period in respect of which she is entitled to
maternity benefit, but before giving birth to a child, the employer shall
be liable only for the period up to and including the date of her death,
provided that any sum already paid to her in excess of such liability
shall not be recoverable and any amount due at the death of the
women shall be paid to the person nominated by her under this
chapter, or she has made no such nomination, to her legal
In recent years the law regarding the benefit of women and maternal affairs
became very strict and government of Bangladesh is very much aware about
this issue. As a result most of the tanneries strictly follow the labor code
regarding maternity benefits. But still there are many tanneries which does
not recruit permanent worker so it became difficult to make the tannery
owner to pay the benefits of maternity. Though most of the tannery provides
proper maternity leaves and payments but in case of death of the mother
benefit is usually not paid to her representative if she hasn’t nominated
someone for the benefit after death.
So it shows that this sector of labor code is followed properly due to the
strictness of the government. So the government should avoid any kind of
leniency in every sector of labor law to ensure the implementation of labor
Employment of Adolescent
Before starting this chapter we need to know about the basic difference
between an adolescent and a child.
Child means a person who has not yet completed his fourteen years of age.
Adolescent is the person who has completed his/her fourteen years but not
completed eighteen years of age.
2.4.1 Prohibition of Employment of Children and Adolescent
Section 34 of labor law sets a standard for the employment of children and
adolescent. It stats that1. No child shall be employed or allowed to work in any occupation or
2. No adolescent shall be employed or allowed to work in any
occupation or establishment unlessa. A certificate of fitness in a prescribed form granted to him by a
registered medical practitioner is in the custody of the employer.
b. He carries, wile at work, a token giving reference to such certificate
3. Nothing in subsection 2 shall apply to the employment of any
adolescent in any occupation or establishment either as an apprentice
or for the purpose of receiving vocational training therein.
4. The government may where it is of opinion that an emergency has
arisen and the public interest is so requires, by notification in the
official gazette, declare the subsection 2 shall not be in operation for
such period as may be specified in the notification.
2.4.2 Certificate of fitness
According to section 371. A registered medical practitioner shall, on the application of
any adolescent or his parent or guardian, or the application of
employer of an establishment, examine such person as to
whether such young person is fit to work in any occupation or
establishment and as ascertain his fitness for work in such
2. A certificate of fitness granted under this section shall be valid
only for the period of twelve months from the date on which it
3. Any fee payable for a certificate under this section shall be paid
by the employer and shall not be recoverable from the
adolescent or his/her parents or guardian.
2.4.3 Working hour of Adolescent
Section 41 of labor law deals with the provision related with working hour
of adolescent. The brief version of section 41 stats that No adolescent shall be allowed or required to work more than 5 hours
a day and 30 hours a week
No adolescent shall be allowed or required to work between the hours
from 7 pm to 7 am.
In every factory, the work of adolescent shall be limited up to two
shifts and no such shift shall be more than 7 and a half hour.
An adolescent can only be appointed in a single relay and such relay
shall be changed only with the prior approval of the inspector for once
in a month.
2.4.4 Probation of Adolescent in certain works
According to section 39No adolescent shall be allowed in any establishment to clean, lubricate or
adjust any part of machinery while that part is in motion, or to work
between fixed and moving parts, of any machinery which is in motion.
Section 42 also statsNo adolescent shall be employed in any underground or underwater
Employment of adolescent is very common phenomena in tannery
industry because they are cheap easy to control and can be manipulated at
any task. So almost every industry employs adolescent. A very few
tannery employs children because tannery work is heavy and child labor
are not so productive in this industry. Though adolescents are employed
in the tannery but they are not provided with their legal rights and
benefits according to labor code. Most adolescent workers work 8-10
hours every day instead of 5 hours. No certification of fitness is required
to get a job in tannery. Sometimes it is found that even they are paid less
than an adult worker though they work as equally as an adult. The
adolescent are also used in all kind of tasks even on those tasks which are
prohibited in labor code. Only the high profile tanneries like Apex, Bay,
Dhaka hides, Bengal leather etc follows the labor code leniently.
So this subject of labor code regarding adolescent shall be revised strictly
by the government. Because most of the codes related with adolescent are
continuously violated in tannery industry.
Chapter 8 of the Bangladesh Labor Code, 2006 deals with the welfare
measures of the workers.
2.5.1 First Aid Appliances
Section 89 of labor code gives heads about first aid appliances. It stats that1. There shall, in every establishment be provided and maintained, so as
to be readily accessible during the working hour, first aid boxes and
almirah equipped with the prescribed contents.
2. The number of such boxes and almirah shall not be less than one for
every one hundred and fifty workers ordinarily employed in the
3. All such boxes and almirah shall be kept in charge of a responsible
person who is trained in first aid treatment and who shall always be
available during the working hours of the establishment.
4. A notice shall be affixed in every work room stating the name of
person in charge of the box or almirah provided in respect of that
room and such person shall wear a badge so as to facilitate
5. In every establishment wherein three hundred or more workers are
ordinarily employed, there shall be provided and maintained an
ambulance room or dispensary of the prescribed size containing the
prescribed equipment or similar facilities, in the charge of such
medical and nursing staff as may be prescribed.
According to section 921. In any establishment where more than one hundred workers are
ordinarily employed an adequate canteen shall be provided for the use
of the worker.
2. The government may, by rules, provide fora. The standards in respect of construction, accommodation, furniture
and other equipments of the canteen.
b. The constitution of a managing committee for the canteen and the
representation of the workers in the management of canteen.
3. The managing committee shall determine the type of foodstuff to be
served therein and the charge therefore.
2.5.3 Shelter, Rest Rooms or Lunch Room
Section 93 of the labor code 2006 makes a provision of a rest room for every
50 or more workers and a separate rest room for the female workers
numbering over 25. But if the number of female worker is below 25 then the
factory management shall manage a curtain in the same rest room to create a
separate resting space for the female workers.
2.5.4 Room for Children
Section 94 deals with the corresponding issue. It briefly stats that for every
forty female workers with children below six years of age there shall be
room for children. The room is required to be of such an area so that it can
provide 600 square cm. of space for each child and the minimum height of
such room shall not be less than 360cm.
The welfare measure of workers in tannery industry is very poor. There is
not enough first aid boxes provided for the workers in case of minor
accidents. Very few high profile tanneries like Apex tannery Ltd and Dhaka
Hides and skins Ltd maintains first aid boxes or almirah. There is no such
tannery that contains a canteen or a rest room. The workers have to go
outside for the lunch and in the establishment there is no such place for
resting or recreation. From the discussion above it can be easily understood
that there is no room for children whatsoever.
So form the above discussion it is easily understood that workers are
constantly deprived of their rights and benefits regarding welfare
measurement. So the government should pay extra attention on the
implementation of welfare measurement of the tannery workers
3. Findings at a Glance
Most of the tannery industry workers are illiterate.
They are unaware about their rights and benefits.
Recruitment on a job is not fair and proper.
Job security is almost zero.
Payment of wages is not according to the labor code.
The payment is poor and nominal bonus and increment is served.
No definite working hour. Worker always have to work more.
Overtime facility is not proper.
Casual leave or sick leave does not provide wages.
Maternity benefits are provided according to labor code.
Employment of adolescent is quite high.
Adolescents are used in all kinds of work though there are provisions
about probation on certain tasks.
Adolescents are paid less than adults.
Working hour of adolescent is not maintained at all.
Not enough first aid kit available for accident in the tanneries.
No canteen or rest room facility for the workers.
No room for children of the female workers in the establishment.
Tannery industry is one of the leading industries of Bangladesh. A large
portion of the population of this country depends on this industry. Though
this industry violates some of the labor codes but this could be easily
controlled by the strict implication of law enforcement. The Government has
to take this matter seriously and by strict control these problems could be
solved. It also should be kept in mind that Tannery industry plays a vital role
in national export and national economy. So any steps toward this industry
should be careful enough that it does not affect the economic condition of