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Bangladesh. THE EMPLOYMENT OF LABOUR (STANDING ORDERS) ACT, 1965
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BANGLADESH

THE EMPLOYMENT OF LABOUR (STANDING ORDERS) ACT, 1965

Act VIII of 1965


An Act to repeal and with certain amendments, re-enact the Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance, 1960.

WHEREAS it is expedient to repeal and, with certain amendments, re-enact the Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance, 1960 (Ordinance No. III of 1960) for regulating conditions of service of workers employed in Shops and Commercial and Industrial Establishments and for matters connected therein;

It is hereby enacted as follows:

1 . Short title, extent, commencement and application. -

(1) This Act may be called the Employment of Labour (Standing Orders) Act, 1965.

(2) It extends to the whole of Bangladesh.

(3) It shall come into force at once.

(4) It shall apply to -

Provided that the provisions of this Act shall not apply to any shop or commercial or industrial establishment, owned and directly managed by the Government and the persons employed therein are governed by the Government Servants Conduct Rules.

2. Definition -

In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context -

3. Conditions of employment -

(1) In every shop or commercial or industrial establishment, employment of workers and other matters incidental thereto shall be regulated in accordance with the provisions of this Act:

Provided that any shop or commercial or industrial establishment may have its own rules regulating employment of workers or any class thereof, but no such rules shall be less favourable to any worker than the provisions of this Act.

(2) The service rules regulating employment of workers or any class thereof in any shop or commercial or industrial establishment as mentioned in the proviso to sub-section (1) shall be submitted by the employer or such shop or commercial or industrial establishment to the Inspector appointed under section 30 for approval and such service rules shall not be put into effect until such approval of the Inspector has been obtained.

(3) Any person aggrieved by the order of the Inspector may within thirty days of the issue of such order, appeal to the Chief Inspector who may either confirm, modify or set aside the order of the Inspector.

(4) A second appeal from the order of the Chief Inspector shall lie to the Government if made within thirty days of the issue of the order of the Chief Inspector and the decision of the Government shall be final.

4. Classification of workers and period of probation. -

(1) A worker employed in any shop or commercial or industrial establishment shall be classified in any of the following classes according to the nature and conditions of work and in the manner provided in this Act -

(2) The period of probation for a worker whose function is of clerical nature, shall be six months and for other workers such period shall be three months, including breaks due to leave, illegal lock-out or strike (not being an illegal strike) in the shop or commercial or industrial establishment:

Provided that in the case of a skilled worker, the period of probation may be extended by an additional period of three months if, for any circumstances, it has not been possible to determine the quality of his work within three months' period of his probation.

(3) If any worker, whose service has been terminated during his probationary period, including the extended period of three months in case of a skilled worker as mentioned in sub-section (2), is again appointed by the same employer within a period of three years, he shall, unless appointed on a permanent basis, be deemed to be a probationer and the period or periods of his earlier probation shall be counted for determining his total period of probation.

(4) If a permanent worker is employed as a probationer in a new post, he may, at any time during the probationary period, be reverted to his old permanent post.

5. Leave and holidays. -

(1) Workers employed in shops or commercial or industrial establishments shall be entitled to leave and holidays with wages as provided in the East Bengal Shops and Establishments Act, 1951, the Factories Act, 1965, or in any other law for the time being in force, as the case may be, and other holidays which the Government may specially declare to be holidays for workers by notification in the official Gazette.

(2) A worker who desires to obtain leave of absence shall apply to the employer for the same, in writing, stating his leave address therein, and the employer or his authorised officer shall issue orders on the application within a weak of its submission to two days prior to the commencement of leave applied for, whichever is earlier:

Provided that if, due to emergent reasons, the leave applied for is to commence on the date of application or within three days thereof, the order shall be given on the same day. If the leave asked for is granted, a leave pass shall be issued to the worker. If the leave is refused or postponed, the fact of such refusal or postponement and the reasons thereof shall be recorded in writing in a register to be maintained by the employer for the purpose. If the worker after proceeding on leave, desires an extension thereof, he shall, if such leave is due to him, apply sufficiently in advance before the expiry of the leave to the employer who shall as far as practicable, send a written reply either granting or refusing extension of leave to the worker to his leave address.

(3) If the worker remains absent beyond the period of leave originally granted or subsequently extended, he shall be liable to lose his lien to his appointment unless he returns within ten days of the expiry of his leave and explains to the satisfaction of the employer his inability to return earlier:

Provided that in case any worker loses his lien to his appointment under this section, he shall not be deprived of the benefits and privileges which already accrued to him under the law due to his past services and in addition, he shall also be kept on the badli list, if any:

Provided further that if such a worker fails to explain to the satisfaction of the employer the reason of his failure to return at the expiry of the leave, the employer may, on consideration of extenuating circumstances, if any, suspend him, as a measure of punishment, for a period not exceeding seven days from the date of his return and the worker shall not be entitled to wages for such periods of unauthorised absence and of suspension; but he shall not lose the lien to his appointment.

(4) If the services of a worker, to whom any annual leave is due under the provisions of the Shops and Establishments Act, 1965, the Factories Act, 1965, or of any other law for the time being in force, as the case may be, is dispensed with whether as a result of retrenchment, discharge, dismissal, termination, retirement or by reason of his resignation before he has availed of any such leave, the employer shall pay his wages in lieu of the unavailed leave, at the rate he is entitled to the payment of wages during the period of leave in accordance with the provisions of those laws and such payments shall be made before the expiry of the second working day after the day on which his employment is dispensed with.

6. Stoppage of work. -

(1) The employer may, at any time, in the event of fire, catastrophe, breakdown of machinery, or stoppage of power supply, epidemics, civil commotion or other cause beyond his control, stop any section or sections of the shop or the commercial or industrial establishment, wholly or partly, for any period.

(2) In the event of such stoppage occurring at any time beyond working hours, the employer shall notify the workers affected, by notices posted, in the case of a factory, on the notice board in the section or department concerned and, in other cases, at a conspicuous place before the work is due to begin next, indicating as to when the work will be resumed and whether such workers are to remain at their place of work at any time before the actual resumption.

(3) In the event of such stoppage occurring at any time during working hours, the workers affected shall be notified as soon as practicable, by notices posted, in the case of a factory on the notice board in the section or department concerned, and in other cases, at a conspicuous place, indicating as to when the work will be resumed and whether such workers are to leave or remain at their place of work.

(4) In the case of detention of workers following such stoppage -

(5) If the period of stoppage of work does not exceed one working day, a worker, unless entitled to wages under clause ((b) of sub-section (4) for detention beyond one hour, may not be paid any wages; but if the period of stoppage of work continues for more than a working day, a worker affected (other than a casual or badli worker), shall be paid wages for the day or days by which it will exceed one working day, and if the stoppage of work extends beyond three working days, the workers may be laid-off in accordance with the provisions of section 9 and such lay-off shall be effective from the day of stoppage of work and any wage paid to a worker for the first three days may be adjusted against the compensation payable for such subsequent lay-off:

Provided that for the piece-rate workers affected, their average daily earnings in the previous month shall be taken to be the daily wage for the purposes of the foregoing sub-sections.

(6) The employer may, in the event of a strike by any section or department of a shop or commercial or industrial establishment, close down either wholly or partly such section or department or any other section or department affected by such closing down and the workers affected may not be paid any wages for such closure:

Provided that the fact of such closure shall be notified by the employer, as soon as practicable, by notice posted, in the case of a factory, on the notice board in the section or department concerned and in the time-keeper's offices, if any, and in any other case in a conspicuous place and the fact of resumption of work, following such closure shall likewise be notified.

7. Calculation of 'one year' or 'six months' of continuous service. -

For the purpose of this Act, a worker who, during the preceding twelve calendar months, has actually worked in a shop or commercial or industrial establishment for not less than two hundred and forty days and one hundred and forty days, as the case may be, shall be deemed to have completed 'one year' or 'six months' respectively, of continuous service in the shop or the commercial or industrial establishment.

Explanations.- In computing the number of days on which a worker, actually worked in a shop or commercial or industrial establishment the days on which -

8. Restrictions of applications of section 6, 9, 10 and 11-

Notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this Act -

Provided that if a question arises whether a shop or commercial or industrial establishment is of seasonal character or whether work is performed therein intermittently, the decision of the Government shall be final:

Provided further that it will not be necessary for an employer to follow the provisions of sections 9 to 11, in respect of any lay-off due to stoppage of work extending beyond three days as provided in sub-section (5) of section 6, in a shop, commercial or industrial establishment to which clause ((b) of this section applies.

9. Right of laid-off workers for compensation. -

(1) Whenever a worker (other than a badli or casual worker), whose name is borne on the muster-rolls of a shop or commercial or industrial establishment and who has completed not less than one year of continuous service under the employer is laid-off, he shall be paid by the employer, for all days during which he is so laid off, except for such weekly holidays as may intervene, compensation which shall be equal to half of the total of the basic wages and dearness allowance, and the full amount of housing allowance, if any, that would have been payable to him had he not been so laid-off:

Provided that a badli worker whose name is borne on the muster-rolls of the shop or commercial or industrial establishment shall cease to be regarded as such for the purpose of this section, if he has completed one year of continuous service in the shop or the commercial or industrial establishment:

Provided further that no worker shall, unless there is an agreement to the contrary between him and the employer, be entitled to the payment of compensation in the aforesaid manner for more than forty-five days during any calendar year.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the proviso to sub-section (1) if during a calendar year a worker is laid-off for more than forty-five days whether continuously or intermittently, and the lay-off after the expiry of the first forty-five days comprises period or periods of fifteen days or more, the worker shall, unless there is an agreement to the contrary between him and the employer, be paid for all the days comprised in every subsequent period of lay-off for fifteen days or more, compensation which shall be equal to one forth of the total of the basic wages and dearness allowance, and the full amount of housing allowance if any that would have been payable to him had he not been so laid off.

(3) In any case where, during a calendar year, a worker is to be laid off after the first forty-five days as aforesaid, for any continuous period of fifteen days or more, the employer may, instead of laying off such a worker, retrench him under section 12.

10. Muster-roll for laid off workers. -

Notwithstanding that the workers or any section thereof employed in a shop or commercial or industrial establishment have been laid off, it shall be the duty of every employer to maintain a muster-roll, and to provide for the making of entries therein by or for the laid-off workers who may present themselves for work at the shop or the commercial or industrial establishment at the appointed time during normal working hours.

11. Workers not entitled to compensation in certain cases. -

Notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this Act, no compensation shall be payable to a worker who has been laid off; -

Explanation. For the purpose of clause (b) , every laid-off worker who presents himself for work at the shop or the commercial or industrial establishment, as the case may be, at the time appointed for the purpose during normal working hours on any day and is not given employment by the employer within two hours of his so presenting himself shall be deemed to have been laid off for that day within the meaning of this section; and if the worker instead of being given employment at the commencement of any shift for any day, is asked to present himself for the purpose during the second half of the shift for the day, and if he so presents himself, he shall be deemed to have been laid off only for one-half of that day, the other half being treated as on duty, irrespective of the fact whether he is given work or not.

12. Conditions of retrenchment -

No worker employed in any shop or commercial or industrial establishment who has been in continuous service for not less than one year under an employer shall be retrenched by the employer unless -

Provided that in case of retrenchment of a worker under subsection (3) of section 9, no notice as mentioned in clause ((a) will be necessary, but the worker shall be paid fifteen days' wages in addition to the compensation or gratuity, as the case may be, which may be payable to him under clause (c).

Explanation. For the purpose of calculation of compensation under this section, wage shall mean the average of the basic wages plus dearness allowance, if any, paid to the worker during the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of retrenchment.

13. Procedure for retrenchment. -

Where any worker is to be retrenched and he belongs to a particular category of workers, the employer shall, in the absence of any agreement between him and the worker in this behalf, ordinarily retrench the worker who was the last person to be employed in that category, unless, for reasons to be recorded in writing, the employer retrenches any other worker.

14. Re-employment of retrenched workers. -

Where any number of workers are retrenched, and the employer proposes to take into his employ any person within a period of one year from the date of such retrenchment, he shall give an opportunity to the retrenched workers belonging to the particular category concerned by sending a notice to their last known addresses, to offer themselves for employment and the retrenched workers who so offer themselves for re-employment shall have preference over other persons, each having priority according to the length of his service under the employer.

15. Fine.-

A worker may be fined in accordance with the provisions of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936.

16. Discharge from service. -

A worker may be discharged from service for reasons of physical or mental incapacity or continued ill-health or such other reasons not amounting to misconduct:

Provided that a worker having completed not less than one year of continuous service, so discharged, shall be paid by the employer compensation at the rate of thirty days wages for every completed year of service or for any part thereof in excess of six months, or gratuity, if any, whichever is higher.

Explanation. For the purpose of calculation of wages under this section, wages shall mean the average of the basic wages and dearness allowance, if any, paid to the worker during the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of discharge.

17. Dismissal from service. -

Notwithstanding anything regarding lay-off, retrenchment, discharge and termination of service as provided elsewhere in this Act, a worker may-

Provided that the worker who is so dismissed shall, if his continuous service is not less than one year, be paid by the employer compensation at the rate of fourteen days wages for every completed year of service, or for any part thereof in excess of six months or gratuity, if any, whichever is higher.

Explanation. For the purpose of calculation of compensation under this sub-section, 'wages' shall mean the average of basic wages and dearness allowance, if any, paid to the worker during the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of his dismissal.

(2) Any-worker found guilty of misconduct but not dismissed under the provisions of sub-section (1) in consideration of any extenuating circumstances, may be discharged, or suspended, as a measure of punishment, without wages as well as subsistence allowance, for a period not exceeding seven days and such period may be within or in addition to the period of suspension of the worker for enquiry under sub-section (2) of section 18, if any, or he may be otherwise punished less severely.

(3) The following acts and omissions shall be treated as misconduct -

18. Procedure of punishment.-

(1) No order for discharge or dismissal of a worker shall be made unless -

(2) A worker charged for misconduct may be suspended pending enquiry into the charges against him and unless the matter is pending before any court, the period of such suspension shall not exceed sixty days:

Provided that during the period of such suspension, a worker shall be paid by his employer a subsistence allowance equivalent to half of his average including dearness allowance, if any.

(3) An order of suspension shall be in writing and may take effect immediately on delivery to the worker.

(4)

(5) if a worker refuses to accept any notice, letter, charge sheet, order or any other document addressed to him by the employer, it shall be deemed that such notice, letter, charge sheet, order or the document has been delivered to him if a copy of the same has been exhibited on the notice board and another copy has been sent to the address of the worker as available from the records of the employer, by registered post.

(6) In awarding punishment under this Act the employer shall take into account the gravity of the misconduct, the previous record, if any, of the worker and any other extenuating or aggravating circumstances that may exist.

(7) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections or elsewhere in this Act, an employer, in cases of 'go-slow' or illegal strike, may discharge or dismiss one or more workers or inflict such other punishment on him or them, individually or collectively, by notice posted on the notice board, after obtaining permission from the Labour Court.

19. Termination of employment. -

(1) For terminating the employment of a permanent worker by the employer, otherwise than in the manner provided elsewhere in this Act, One hundred twenty-days' notice in the case of monthly rated workers and sixty days notice in the case of other workers, in writing, shall be given by the employer:

Provided that wages for 120 days or sixty days, as the case may be, may be paid in lieu of such notice:

Provided further that the worker whose employment is so terminated, shall be paid by the employer compensation at the rate thirty days' wages for every completed year of service or for any part thereof in excess of six months, in addition to any other benefit to which he may be entitled under this Act or any other law for the time being in force.

Explanation - For the purpose of calculation of wages under this sub-section, wages shall mean the average of the basic wages and dearness allowance, if any, paid to the worker during the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of termination.

(2) If a permanent worker desires to terminate his employment, one month's notice in the case of monthly rated workers, and fourteen days' notice in the case of other workers in writing, shall be given by him to his employer:

Provided that a worker who terminates his employment under this sub-section shall not be entitled to the payment of any compensation mentioned in sub-section (1), but he shall be entitled to other benefits, if any, under this Act or under any other law for the time being in force.

(3) For terminating the employment of a temporary worker by the employer, otherwise than in the manner provided elsewhere in this Act, and if it is not due to the completion, cessation, abolition or discontinuance of the temporary work which he was appointed to perform, one month's notice in the case of monthly rated workers and fourteen days' notice in other cases, in writing shall be given by the employer:

Provided that wages for one month or fourteen days as the case may be, may be paid in lieu of such notice.

20. Provident Fund. -

No worker, who is a member of any Provident Fund, shall be deprived due, to retrenchment, dismissal, discharge or termination of service, of the benefit of the Provident Fund including the employer's contribution thereto, if he is entitled to it under the rules of that Fund.

21. Certificate of service. -

Every worker (other than a casual or badli worker) shall be entitled to a certificate of service at the time of his retrenchment, discharge, dismissal, retirement or termination of service.

22. Protection of existing conditions of employment. -

Nothing in this Act shall affect any law, custom, usage or any award, agreement or settlement, in force immediately before the commencement of this Act, if such law, custom, usage, award, agreement or settlement ensures conditions of employment more favourable to the workers than those provided in this Act.

23. Power to exempt. -

The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, exempt, on such conditions as may be imposed, any shop or commercial or industrial establishment or any class thereof from the operation of all or any of the provisions of this Act.

24. Eviction from residential accommodation. -

(1) A worker occupying a residential accommodation provided by his employer, who has been retrenched, discharged, dismissed or whose services have been terminated, shall vacate such residential accommodation within a period of fifteen days from the date of his retrenchment, discharge, dismissal or termination of service, as the case may be, unless a case in respect of such retrenchment, discharge, dismissal or termination of service is pending before any court.

(2) On default of a worker in vacating the residential accommodation under sub-section (1), the employer may lodge a complaint to a Magistrate of the first class, having jurisdiction.

(3) The Magistrate, on hearing the parties, may notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, summarily decide the case and may pass an order of eviction giving the worker reasonable time to quit.

(4) The Magistrate may also pass an order directing a police officer to evict such a worker, if necessary, by force, in case he fails to quit the residential accommodation within the time allowed under sub-section (3).

(5) The police officer, while acting under an order of the Magistrate under sub-section (4), shall notify the occupants of the premises in question of the contents of the Magistrate's order and his intention to enter into such premises and shall allow at least two hours' time to the occupants to vacate the premises and shall give all reasonable facilities to the children before applying any force for taking over the possession of such premises.

25. Grievance procedure. - (1) Any individual worker (including a person who has been dismissed, discharged, retrenched, laid-off or otherwise removed from employment) who has a grievance in respect of any matter covered under this Act and intends to seek redress there of under this section, shall observe the following procedure;-

26. Penalty for non-compliance of court's order under section 25. -

(1) Whoever refuses or fails to comply with an order passed by the court under section 25, may be punished with simple imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or with fine not exceeding Tk. 1000/-or with both.

(2) No court shall take cognizance of an offence under sub-section (1) except on complaint made by the aggrieved person.

27. Penalties and procedure. -

(1) An employer who contravenes any provision of this Act, as applicable to his shop or commercial or industrial establishment, shall, for the first offence, be punishable with fine not exceeding Tk. 500/- and in the case of a continuing offence, with a further fine which may extend to Tk. 50/- for every day after the first during which the offence continues and for each of the subsequent offences with a fine which may extend to Tk. 500/- or with simple imprisonment not exceeding one month or with both and in the case of a continuing offence arising out of such subsequent offence with further fine which may extend to Tk. 50/- for every day after the first during which such offence continues.

(2) Whoever contravenes any of the provisions of this Act shall, if no other penalty is elsewhere provided by or under this Act for such contravention, be punishable, for the first offence, with a fine which may extend to Tk. 200/- and for each subsequent offence with a fine which may extend to Tk. 200/- or with simple imprisonment not exceeding one month or with both.

(3) No prosecution for an offence punishable under this section, shall be instituted except by or under the authority of, or with the previous permission, in writing, of the Chief Inspector or his authorised officers.

(4) No court inferior to that of a Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence punishable under this section as well as under section 26.

28. Display of notice of abstracts of the Act. -

An abstract of the provisions of this Act and rules made thereunder as well as the rules of service regulating employment as mentioned in the proviso to section 3, if any, shall be prominently posted and kept in a legible condition by the employer in Bengali, and (English) on special boards to be maintained for the purpose, in conspicuous places of the shop or commercial or industrial establishment:

Provided that this section shall, not apply to any shop or commercial or industrial establishment where the total number of workers employed is less than seven.

29. Liability of employer. - The employer of every shop or commercial or industrial establishment shall personally be held responsible for proper and faithful observance of the provisions of this Act.

30. Chief Inspector and Inspectors. -

(1) The Chief Inspector of Factories and Establishments shall be the Chief Inspector, who shall, in addition to the powers conferred on the Chief Inspector under this Act, have the powers of an Inspector throughout Bangladesh and shall also have powers of supervision and control over the Inspectors:

Provided that the Chief Inspector may authorise any other officer or officers under him to exercise all or any of his powers for such person as may be specified by him.

(2) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint such persons or class of persons as it thinks fit to be inspectors for the purposes of this Act, within the local limit as may be assigned to each.

(3) An Inspector may, at all reasonable hours, enter any premises and make such examination of any record, register or other document relevant to the enforcement of the provisions of this Act and take, on the spot or otherwise, such evidence of any person and may require the owner or the occupant of such premises to render all reasonable assistance which may be necessary for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

(4) The Chief Inspector and every Inspector shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of section 21 of the Penal, Code, 1860.

31. Powers to make rules. - (1) The Government may, subject to the conditions of previous publication in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying into effect the purposes of this Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing powers, such rule may provide for all or any matter which is to be or may be prescribed under this Act.

(3) Rules made under this section may provide that a contravention thereof shall be punishable with fine not exceeding Tk. 100/-.

32. (Repealed) Rep. - by Repealing and Amending Ordinance, 1966 (Ordinance XIII of 1966).



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