Employment law in Bangladesh is governed by the Labour Act, 2006 (“Act”) and the Labour Rules, 2015 (“Rules”). The Act and Rules applies to workers (labourers) who are employed in commercial enterprises and industrial undertakings. The Act and Rules prescribe the working hours, weekly holidays, annual leave, medical leave. It also provides for gratuity payments, provident funds and participation in the profits of the company.
The Law Counsel regularly provides advice to a number of local and foreign companies in relation to employment matters.It has experience of both vetting and drafting employment manuals for companies. It advises companies in relation to appointment, termination and dismissal. It has prepared flowcharts for companies to follow in relation to disciplinary proceedings. It has also drafted letters of appointment/termination/dismissal where such appointment/termination/dismissal is likely to lead to litigation.
The Law Counsel has advised a number of local branches of foreign companies and firms such as Columbia Sportswear in relation to employment law issues. It has assisted foreign companies in calculating termination benefits of employees. It provides advice to such companies on the entitlement of employees to annual and casual leave. It has also drafted and reviewed the rules and regulations governing gratuity and provident funds.
Recently, the firm advised in an industrial dispute. This was the first major industrial dispute in Bangladesh concerning a multinational company. The Law Counsel oversaw and vetted correspondence with the trade union and advised with regard to the legitimacy of their demands. It advised the company right through the negotiations with the union which led to the execution of a memorandum of understanding.
The Law Counsel has a dedicated team of lawyers practising before the Labour Courts and the Labour Appellate Tribunals of Bangladesh. In a recent case, the Law Counsel successfully represented workers of Unilever in relation to their right of participation in the profits of the company. The case sparked similar cases by workers in other companies, which compelled the Government to amend the Labour Act in 2013.
Employee Share Programmes:
The Law Counsel has advised foreign law firms and corporate clients with regard to the provision of employee share programs, such as RSU to local subsidiaries in Bangladesh. The firm has been providing innovative solutions to foreign companies in order to circumvent the securities regulations in Bangladesh.
Representative Clients: Ibne Sina Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, BD Foods Limited, Columbia Sportswear, Reliance Insurance Limited and Islami Bank Bangladesh Bank.