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Bangladesh - Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints


Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - Bangladesh - 2017    

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Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: Yes

Remarks:
  • The LA does not specify the powers of the Court with respect to awarding damages. Sec. 33(4) LA refers to the power of the Court to "make such orders as it may deem just and proper". This includes awarding damages.

Reinstatement available: Yes

Remarks:
  • Sec. 33(5) LA: The Labour court, may amongst other relief, direct reinstatement of the complainant in service, either with or without back wages and convert the order of dismissal, removal or discharge to any other lesser punishment (i.e: suspension, warning, downgrading to a lower post).

Preliminary mandatory conciliation: No

Remarks:
  • Conciliation is only foreseen for the settlement of industrial disputes (sec. 210 LA).
    An industrial dispute is defined as "any dispute or difference between employers and employers or between employers and workers or between workers and workers which is connected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of employment or the conditions of work of any person" (sec. 2(Lxii) LA). An industrial dispute is deemed to exist only if it has been raised by a collective bargaining agent or an employer (sec. 209 LA).

Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

Remarks:
  • Note that only workers who have been "discharged", "dismissed" or "retrenched" (i.e. workers who have been dismissed on grounds of incapacity, misconduct or redundancy) can seek redress for grievance related to dismissal in the courts.
    Workers who have been "terminated" by simple notice (with no reason given) cannot challenge such termination in court unless they claim a breach of the requisite requirements (notice and severance pay) or allege that their termination was based on their trade union membership or activity (sec. 33(9) LA).
    - The worker must start a grievance procedure by submitting his/her complaint to the employer, in writing within 30 days of being informed the cause of such grievance. The employer has to inquire into the matter and inform the worker of his/her decision in writing within 15 days (sec. 33(1) &(2) LA ).
    - If the employer fails to give an answer or if the worker is not satisfied with the employer's statement, the worker can bring a complaint before the Labour Court within 30 days (sec. 33(3) LA). The Court shall issue a decision within 60 days following the filing of the case (sec. 216(11) LA).
    - Appeals against the court's decision shall be lodged to the Labour Appellate Tribunal within 30 days of the court's order (sec. 33(6) LA).

Existing arbitration: No

Remarks:
  • The parties can only resort to arbitration in the event of an industrial dispute (sec. 210 LA) which "means any dispute or difference between employers and employers or between employers and workers or between workers and workers which is connected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of employment or the conditions of work of any person" (sec. 2(Lxii) LA) and which is deemed to exist only "if it has been raised by a collective bargaining agent or an employer" (sec. 209 LA).

Length of procedure: 60 day(s) (statutory)

Remarks:
  • - 60 days: statutory timeframe during which the labour court shall issue a decision once the case has been filed.

Notes / Remarks
Note that only workers who have been "discharged", "dismissed" or "retrenched" (i.e. workers who have been dismissed on grounds of incapacity, misconduct or redundancy) can seek redress for grievance related to dismissal in the courts.
Workers who have been "terminated" by simple notice (with no reason given) cannot challenge such termination in court unless they claim a breach of the requisite requirements (notice and severance pay) or allege that their termination was based on their trade union membership or activity (sec. 33(9) LA).