Export Processing Zone Labour Laws in Bangladesh
The Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority (BEPZA) is an agency of the government of Bangladesh. It is administered under the Prime Minister’s Office. The objective of BEPZA is to oversee the various export processing zones (EPZ) in Bangladesh. There are currently eight export processing zones in operation. They are : Adamjee EPZ, Chittagong EPZ, Comilla EPZ, Dhaka EPZ, Ishwardi EPZ, Karnaphuli EPZ, Mongla EPZ and Uttara EPZ. BEPZA oversees the operations of all these eight export processing zones (EPZ).
The government of Bangladesh is in a process to increase the number of EPZs. The government has announced they will establish 100 new EPZs in the next 15 years. These EPZs will play a big part in improving the countries social and economic condition. For opening factories in EPZs numerous incentives are given by the government. At the same time the government bans anything that are detrimental to the productivity of the factories inside the EPZs. Different kinds of industries are established inside the EPZs. The industries that are established inside the EPZs includes garments industries, electronics industries, terry towel industries and textile industries.
Different industries in Bangladesh are regulated by Bangladesh Labour Act 2006. But the EPZs are regulated by different law. The Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) issued directives on service matters concerning workers and officers employed in companies operating within the export processing zones of Bangladesh in exercise of the powers conferred by the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority Act 1980. The directives given by BEPZA regulates the workers in EPZs.
The directives issued by BEPZA applies to everyone such as workers, officers and apprentices of the companies inside the EPZs. Unless there is a contract which is specifically entered into between the company and said employees, the terms and conditions of service which have been determined by the directives given by BEPZA shall apply. Companies operating in the EPZs may have their own rules regulating the terms and conditions of employment. In such event no rules or terms and conditions of employment of an individual company shall be less favourable than those contained in the directions given by BEPZA. These directives includes the classification of employees, rules for service records, rules for leaves and holidays, rules on termination/ resignation of employment, rules on welfare, rules on social security and rules on payment of wages.
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