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Bangladesh
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2017    

References
  • Labour Act, 2006 (XLII of 2006) [LA], as amended by Act No. 30 of 2013
    Date: 31 Dec 2013 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Labour Rules of 2015, issued under sec. 351 of the Labour Act [Labour Rules]
    Date: 31 Dec 2015
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Remarks:
  • There are no general size-related exclusions regarding the applicability of termination of employment provisions.
    However, the provisions on (temporary) stoppage of work and lay-off do not apply to establishments with less than 5 workers.
    This exclusion can affect termination of employment insofar as sec. 16(7) LA regulating lay-off provides that where, during a calendar year, a worker is to be laid off after the first forty-five days for any continuous period of fifteen days or more, the employer may retrench that worker instead of temporarily laying him/her off.


Workers' categories excluded: civil/public servants; agricultural workers; domestic workers; managerial / executive positions; seafarers; employer's family members; teachers
Remarks:
  • - Section 1 (4) Labour Act (2006): The Act does not apply to:
    (a) Offices of or under the Government;
    (b) Security printing press;
    (c) Ordnance factories;
    (d) Establishments for the treatment or care of the sick, infirm, aged, destitute, mentally disabled,orphan, abandoned child, widow or deserted woman, which are not run for profit or gains;
    (e) Shops or stalls in any public exhibition or show which deal in retail trade and which is subsidiary or to the purpose of such exhibition or show;
    (f) Shops or stalls in any public fair or bazaar for religious or charitable purpose;
    (g) Educational, training and research institutions;
    (h) Hostels and messes, hospital, clinic and diagnostic centre not maintained for profit or gains;
    (i) In respect of chapter, ii, any shop, commercial establishment or industrial establishment owned and directly managed by the government where the workers are governed by conduct rules applicable to government servants;
    (j) workers whose recruitments and terms and conditions of service are governed by laws or rules made under article 62, 79, 113, or 133 of the constitution, except, for the purposes of chapters XII, XIII and XIV workers employed by the-
    (i) Railway Department
    (ii) Posts, Telegraph and Telephone Departments,
    (iii) Roads and highways Department,
    (iv) Public works Department,
    (v) Public Health Engineering Department,
    (vi) Bangladesh Government press.
    (k) Workers employed in an establishment mentioned in clauses (b), (c) (d), (e), (f), (g) and (h) but workers other than teachers, employed by any university shall not be subject to the restrictions except the purposes of chapters XII, XIII and XIV;
    (l) Seamen, except for the purposes of chapters XII, XIII and XIV;
    (m) Ocean going vessels, except for the purpose of chapter XVI;
    (n) agricultural farms where less than five workers are normally employed;
    (o) domestic servants; and
    (p) establishments run by the owner with the aid of members of his family and without employing any hired labour"

    - See also Section 2 (Lxv) Labour Act: 'worker' means any person including an apprentice employed in any establishment or industry, either directly or through a contractor, to do any skilled, unskilled, manual, technical, trade promotional or clerical work for hire or reward, whether the terms of employment be expressed or implied, but does not include a person employed mainly in a managerial or administrative capacity.

Types of employment contracts - 2017    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: 6 month(s)

Remarks:
  • Sec. 4(8) LA: The probationary period shall be:
    - 6 months for a worker exercising functions of clerical nature and;
    - 3 months for other workers.
    The period of probation of a skilled worker can be extended by an additional period of 3 months if it has not been possible to determine the quality of the work within the first 3 months' period of probation. If the employment of a probationer is terminated but s/he is employed by the same employer within the next three years, s/he is exempted from the period of probation previously completed (sec. 4(9) LA).

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: No
    Remarks:
    • Section 4 Labour Act: The LA does not regulate the use of fixed-term contracts but it distinguishes between apprentices, badlis, casual workers, probationers, permanent and temporary workers
      A badli (= transfer worker) is a worker who is employed during the absence of a permanent worker or of a probationer worker.
      A casual worker is a worker employed on ad-hoc basis in an establishment for work of a casual nature.
      A temporary worker is a worker who is employed to perform work which is essentially of temporary nature, and is likely to be finished within a limited period.
      A probationer is a worker who is provisionally employed in an establishment to fill a permanent vacancy in a post and has not completed the period of his probation in the establishment.
      A permanent worker is a worker employed in an establishment on a permanent basis or who has satisfactory completed the period of his probation in the establishment (sec. 4 LA).

      Section 26 (2) of the Labour Act provides that "the employment of a temporary worker may be terminated by the employer, otherwise than in the manner provided elsewhere in this chapter, and if it is not due to the completion, cessation, abolition or discontinuance of the temporary work for which he was appointed, by giving to him in writing- (a) thirty day’s notice, if he is a monthly rated worker;
      (b) fourteen days notice, in case of other worker."
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The LA does not regulate the use of fixed-term contracts but instead distinguishes between apprentices, badlis, casual workers, probationers, permanent and temporary workers
      A badli (= transfer worker) is a worker who is employed during the absence of a permanent worker or of a probationer worker.
      A casual worker is a worker employed on ad-hoc basis in an establishment for work of a casual nature.
      A temporary worker is a worker who is employed to perform work which is essentially of temporary nature, and is likely to be finished within a limited period.
      A probationer is a worker who is provisionally employed in an establishment to fill a permanent vacancy in a post and has not completed the period of his probation in the establishment.
      A permanent worker is a worker employed in an establishment on a permanent basis or who has satisfactory completed the period of his probation in the establishment (sec. 4 LA).
      [From the above-mentioned definition, we can infer that reasons connected to the temporary nature of the work shall be present in order to hire a badli or a temporary worker and therefore such workers cannot be hired to perform work of a permanent nature].
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2017    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: No
Remarks:
  • The LA distinguishes between several ways of termination of employment by the employer namely: 'dismissal' (for misconduct), 'discharge' (for incapacity), 'retrenchment' (for economic reasons) and 'termination' (without cause). Justification is only required in the first three instances (secs. 22, 23, 24, 26 LA)
    Therefore in cases other than misconduct, physical or mental incapacity, or economic dismissal, the employer is not required to provide any justification.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): none
Remarks:
  • The LA distinguishes between several ways of termination of employment by the employer namely:
    - 'dismissal' : when the worker is found guilty of a misconduct or convicted for criminal offence: secs. 23 and 24 LA)
    - 'discharge from service' for reasons of physical
    or mental incapacity or continued ill-health certified by a registered medical practitioner (sec. 22 LA),
    - 'retrenchment' for economic reasons (sec. 21 LA) and
    - 'termination' without cause (sec. 26 LA).
    Therefore in cases other than misconduct, physical or mental incapacity, or economic reasons, the employer can lawfully terminate any employment contract without having to justify such termination by a valid reason provided that he/she complies with the statutory notice and severance pay requirements (sec. 26 LA).


Prohibited grounds: trade union membership and activities
Remarks:
  • No general list of prohibited grounds for discrimination of or dismissal in the LA.
    However, sec. 195(d) prohibits the dismissal, discharge, removal from employment or the threat to undertake such actions by reason that the worker is or proposes to become, or seeks to persuade any other person to become a member or officer of a trade union, or participates in the promotion, formation or activities of a trade union.
    Note also that sec. 228 LA prohibits the employer to discharge, dismiss or terminate the employment of a worker while proceedings connected to an industrial disputes are pending (before the labour jurisdictions or an arbitrator) except with the permission of that body and for reasons of misconduct not connected with such dispute.
    Furthermore, any discharge, dismissal or punishment for misconduct of a trade union officer while such proceedings are pending is prohibited, except with prior authorization from the Labour Court (sec. 228(2) LA).


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives
Remarks:
  • - No real special protection for pregnant women or women on maternity leave against termination of employment. However, sec. 50 LA "Restriction on termination of employment of a woman in certain cases" provides that: "If any notice or order of discharge, dismissal, removal or termination of employment is given by an employer to a woman within a period of six month before and eight weeks after her delivery and such notice or order is given without sufficient cause, she will not be deprived of any maternity benefit to which she would have become entitled under this chapter."


Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2017    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks:
  • - Retrenchment: sec. 20(1) LA
    - Dismissal (on the ground of serious misconduct): sec. 24 LA
    - Termination by the employer with notice without a cause: sec. 26(1) LA.

Notice period:
Remarks:
  • - In the event of a retrenchment, the employer shall give the employee one month's notice (sec. 20(1) LA).

    - In the event of termination without cause (sec. 26 LA), the employer shall give the employee the following notice period:

    1) For permanent workers:
    - 120 days' notice if the worker is paid on a monthly basis;
    - 60 days' notice to other workers.

    2) For temporary workers (when termination is not due to the completion, cessation, abolition or discontinuance of the temporary work for which he was appointed):
    - 30 days' notice if the temporary worker is paid on a monthly basis;
    - 14 days' notice to other temporary workers.

    - No statutory notice requirements for conduct and capacity-related dismissals (referred to respectively in the LA as 'dismissal' and 'discharge'), except for dismissals based on unjustified absence from the work place. (In case a worker remains absent from work without notice for at least 10 days, the employer shall serve him or her a notice to explain the reasons for the absence. If the worker does not submit a written justification for the absence or returns to work within 17 days, he or she is considered terminated, sec. 27(3A)).
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • economic dismissal - 0 month(s).
      • permanent (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 120 day(s).
      • permanent (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 60 day(s).
      • temporary (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 30 day(s).
      • temporary (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 14 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • economic dismissal - 0 month(s).
      • permanent (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 120 day(s).
      • permanent (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 60 day(s).
      • temporary (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 30 day(s).
      • temporary (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 14 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
      • permanent (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 120 day(s).
      • permanent (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 60 day(s).
      • temporary (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 30 day(s).
      • temporary (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 14 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
      • permanent (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 120 day(s).
      • permanent (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 60 day(s).
      • temporary (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 30 day(s).
      • temporary (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 14 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
      • permanent (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 120 day(s).
      • permanent (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 60 day(s).
      • temporary (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 30 day(s).
      • temporary (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 14 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
      • permanent (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 120 day(s).
      • permanent (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 60 day(s).
      • temporary (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 30 day(s).
      • temporary (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 14 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
      • permanent (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 120 day(s).
      • permanent (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 60 day(s).
      • temporary (monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 30 day(s).
      • temporary (non-monthly-paid) workers - termination without cause - 14 day(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Remarks:
    • The employer can opt for paying the wages for the period of notice in the following cases:
      - Retrenchment (sec. 20(1) LA)
      - Termination by the employer without a cause (that is termination by the employer otherwise than by dismissal (conduct-related), discharge (capacity-related) or retrenchment) (sec. 26(3) LA)

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Remarks:
    • Except in the event of an economic dismissal (retrenchment): sec. 20(2)b) LA, dealt below under "Procedural requirement for collective dismissals for economic reasons".
      The Labour Inspection must be immediately notified in case of dismissals of workers due to illegal strikes. Otherwise there are no notification obligations (sec. 25(1) Labour Rules, 2015).

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Remarks:
    • Except in the event of an economic dismissal (retrenchment): sec. 20(2)b) LA, dealt below under "Procedural requirement for collective dismissals for economic reasons".

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2017    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    No statutory definition of collective dismissals. The LA regulates retrenchment which is defined as "the termination by the employer of services of workers, not as a measure of punishment but on the ground of redundancy".

    Remarks:
    • See secs. 2(xi) and 20 LA.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): No

    Remarks:
    • There is no obligation as such on the part of the employer to undertake consultations with the worker's representatives on intended retrenchments. Sec. 20(2)b) LA only requires that the collective bargaining agent (trade union) be notified.
      Note however, that the LA recognizes the right of the collective bargaining agent in relation to an establishment to undertake collective bargaining with the employer on matters connected with the employment, non-employment, non-employment, the term of employment or the conditions of work (sec. 24(e) LA).
      In addition, if an industrial dispute is likely to arise between the employer and the workers (which can be the case for example in the event of retrenchments) the law recognizes the right of the collective bargaining agent to communicate his or its views in writing to the other party, which shall in turn arrange a meting for collective bargaining on the issue with a view to reaching an agreement (sec. 210 on the settlement of industrial disputes).
      An industrial dispute is defined in the LA 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).

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Sec. 20(2)(b) LA: No worker who has been in continuous service for at least one year shall be retrenched by the employer unless- (b) a copy of the notice is sent to the chief Inspector or any other officer authorized by him and also to the collective bargaining agent in the establishment, if any.

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Sec. 20(2)(b) LA: A copy of the notice of retrenchment of a worker who has been employed for at least a year shall be sent to the collective bargaining agent in the establishment, if any.

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Sec. 20(4) LA: application of the LIFO ("last in, first out ") rule in the absence of any agreement between the employer and the worker.

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): No

    Priority rules for re-employment: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Sec. 21 LA: preference for re-hiring shall be given to retrenched workers when the employer decides to hire workers within one year from the date of the retrenchment.

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2017    

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    Severance pay:
    Remarks:
    • Severance pay is payable to a worker who has been continuously employed for at least one years in the event of a:
      - Termination based on physical or mental incapacity or continued ill-health(referred to as 'discharge') (sec, 22(2) LA)
      - Termination with notice without any reason (sec. 26(4) LA).
      In both cases, severance pay amounts to 30 days' wages for each completed year of service or for any part thereof in excess of six months: see sec. 2(x) LA on the definition of gratuity). Additionally, workers are entitled to 45 days' wages for each completed year above 10 completed years (see sec. 2(x) LA).
      In case a worker is dismissed for misconduct other than theft, misappropriation, fraud, embezzlement, breaking in the establishment, „riot“ or “disordeliness“, they are entitled to a severance pay of at least 15 days' wages for each completed year of service (sec. 23(3) LA).
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 30 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 30 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 60 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 120 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 150 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 300 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 600 day(s)
    Redundancy payment:
    Remarks:
    • Sec. 20(2): In the event of retrenchment, any worker with at least one year of continuous service with an employer shall be entitlement to a payment of at least 30 days' wages for each completed year of service (or for any part thereof in excess of six months: see sec. 2(x) LA on the definition of gratuity)
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 30 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 30 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 60 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 120 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 150 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 300 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 600 day(s)

    Notes / Remarks
    1) Termination on the ground of misconduct (referred to as 'dismissal'): no severance pay
    2) Termination for reasons of physical or mental incapacity or continued ill-health(referred to as 'discharge'): severance pay = 30 days' wages for each year of service.
    3) Termination with notice without any reason: severance pay = 30 days' wages for each year of service.
    4) Termination based on economic reasons (referred to as 'retrenchment'): redundancy payment = 30 days' for each year of service.

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

    Source of additional information - 2017    

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