Employment Relations of Bangladesh

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BA 402 - Comparative Industrial Relations Instructor: Lyman A. Hussey March 2007 Employment Relations of Bangladesh by Roman Walker Index: Page: Overview…………………………………………………..3 Labour and Unions……………………………………….3 Economy…………………………………………………..4 Education System………………………………………...5 Legal System………………………………………………6 Labour Laws……………………………………………….7 Tax Structure………………………………………………8 Treatment of Foreign Nationals………………………….9 Grameen Bank……………………………………………10 Overview: Bangladesh is a small

country, located North-East of India, which surrounds it. Bangladesh borders India in the West, North, and East. It also borders to Burma in the South-East and its South coast is located at the Indian Ocean. Bangladesh is 130,200 km² big and has a population of 123,633 million people (2000). The capital of Bangladesh is Dhaka. The majority of Bangladesh’s countryside is lowland at the bottom end of the Ganga and Brahmputra. Mountains can only be found in the East and South-East of the country. The climate is subtropical to tropical Monsun-climate. 98% of the population are Bengals. The other minorities are Bihari and some mountain tribes. Bangladesh is one of the thickest populated countries in the world which can hardly cope with the annual economical and social growth of

3%. The state religion is Islam.[1] Labour and Unions: The labour force in 1998 was estimated at about 64 million workers. 11% of the civilian labour force was employed in the industrial sector, 63% in agriculture, 26% in the service industry in 1996. It is not possible to rely on statistics because of a huge unreported black market. The unemployment rate in 2001 was at about 35%.[2] The structure of the labour market and the role of unions in Bangladesh are can be compared to those in other South Asia countries. Bangladesh has three types of labour markets: formal, rural informal, and urban informal. The formal labour market is characterized by a contractual relationship between the employer and the employee and supported by labour laws and regulations that protect workers, such

as minimum wages, allowances, and limitations on the employer’s ability to fire his workers. The other types of labour markets are not covered by any labour regulations. The informal sector dominates the labour market surface. In 1991, 47,2 % of the labour force were classified as unpaid family workers, 15,4% were self-employed, 13,9% were classified as casual workers (day labourers), and only 11,7% had regular full time wage employment.[3] Joining unions is granted by the Bangladesh’s constitution, as well as the formation of a union only after a government approval. Still in some cases people are harassed and fired who tried to organize a union. People working in the government civil servants, military, and police are not allowed to join unions with the exception of

railway, postal, and telegraph workers. Instead they are allowed to join associations which perform similar functions like the unions. Workers of the EPZ (Export Processing Zone), ruled by the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority, an official organ of the government to promote, attract, and facilitate foreign investment in these zones, primary formed to provide special areas where potential investors would find a congenial investment climate, free from cumbersome procedures[4], are not allowed to form unions, although the government promised to relax this restriction in 1997. Although the size of the formal sector is so small, Bangladesh has a large number of labour unions. In 1992 there were 4065 registered unions with a total membership of 1.648.783, which are only 3%