DHAKA: A Letter of Intent was signed at a ceremony held at the Westin Hotel in Dhaka today (6 October 2015) by Dr. Gerd Müller, Minister, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Federal Republic of Germany; Mikail Shipar, Secretary, the Ministry of Labour and Employment of Bangladesh; and Srinivas Reddy, ILO Country Director for Bangladesh.
In the initial stages, the three signatories will work together on the design of a suitable EII scheme for the Ready Made Garment Sector. Legislative issues will be addressed and national institutional capacities to implement such a scheme developed. In later stages, a pilot scheme will be launched before being scaled up to run nationwide and extended to other industrial sectors.
Mikail Shipar, Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment said, “The Government of Bangladesh is committed to enhancing the safety and welfare of all workers in Bangladesh. By joining hands with the ILO and Germany our goal is to develop an Employment Injury Insurance Scheme that will benefit the lives of millions, support business and enhance the reputation of our industry worldwide.”
Srinivas Reddy, ILO Country Director for Bangladesh said, “A universal Employment Injury Insurance Scheme will benefit employees and employers alike. The support of Germany reflects the importance the international community places on developing social protection for workers and we encourage other partners to join us in this undertaking.”
ILO actively promotes policies and provides assistance to countries to help extend adequate levels of social protection to all members of society. The experience of setting up a mechanism to deliver compensation in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza highlighted the need for an Employment Injury Insurance (EII) Scheme to be established. Workers will receive payment in case of injury while employers will benefit from low-cost and no-fault accident compensation insurance for workers.
An initial workshop was held in Dhaka in January 2015 to present the concept and principles of EII scheme to stakeholders. This was followed by an ILO mission to Dhaka in May and June 2015 to launch a feasibility study, the preliminary report of which has been completed. In July 2015, the Government formally requested the ILO Country Office in Bangladesh to directly coordinate any donor initiatives for establishment of an EII and to design a combined scheme for this purpose. As a result, ILO is cooperating closely with German organisations German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) and GIZ in this regard.