Maternity Welfare Facilities

Before enactment of the Bangladesh Labor Act, 2006, the Maternity Benefit Act, 1934, the Mines Maternity Benefit Act, 1941 and the Maternity Benefit (Tea Estate) Act, 1950 dealt with the employment of women in certain establishment for a certain period before and after childbirth and provides for maternity and other benefits. The Act applies to mines, factories, circus, industry, plantation, shops and establishments employing five or more persons. Employers are also mandated to provide maternity benefits to the employee who has completed at least six months of service with the employer by the date of confinement. Every pregnant labor has been provided progenitor welfare facilities before and after eight weeks from the date of confinement. The benefit consists of a payment depending on current wages for eight weeks before and eight weeks after the birth of the child. Employers are also prohibited to force any progenitor engaging in any work after the date of confinement. Employers are also prohibited to discharge, dismiss, and terminate any progenitor labor before six months by the date of confinement and after eight weeks by the date of confinement. If the woman dies on the day of confinement and within 8 weeks on the day of confinement, maternity benefits are to be paid to the person who takes care of the child. If both the woman and the child die, the benefit is to be paid to the person she nominated, or if no such nomination has been made, to her legal successors.

What is Maternity Benefit?

Every woman shall be entitled to, and her employer shall be liable for, the payment of maternity benefit, which is the amount payable to her at the rate of the average daily wage for the period of her actual absence.

Prohibition of Employment of Women Workers

The employment of women in certain cases has been restricted by section 87 of the Bangladesh Labor Act. Section 45 of the Bangladesh Labor Act, 2006 prohibits workings any establishment and employer shall not knowingly employ a woman during the eight weeks immediately following the day of her delivery in any establishment.

The employer may not employ a woman during the eight weeks immediately following the day of her delivery.

No woman shall work during the eight weeks immediately following day of her delivery.

No employer shall employ a woman for any difficult work, or for which the woman workers has to work by keeping herself standing for a long time, or for any work which is harmful to her if—

He has reason to believe or if she has informed him that she is likely to deliver a child within ten weeks.

She has to the knowledge of the employer delivered a child within the preceding ten weeks.

Provided that in the case of a tea plantation worker she may under take light work in the plantation for so long as the medical practitioner of tea plantation certifies that she is physically fit to do so and for the days that she does such work, she shall be paid at the prevailing rate of pay for such work, and such pay shall be paid to her in addition to the maternity benefit.

The Bangladesh Labor Act also Prohibits for employment of woman in certain cases by the section 39, 40, and 42. Section 39 of the Act prohibits the employment of woman in following—

No woman shall be allowed in any factory to clean any part of machinery while that part is in motion.

No woman shall be allowed in any factory to lubricant any part of machinery while that part is in motion.

No woman shall be allowed in any factory to adjust any part of machinery while that part is in motion and

No woman shall be allowed in any factory to work between moving parts or between fixed and moving parts of any machinery which is in motion of machines which are in motion.

Section 40 of the Bangladesh Labor Act does not allow for employment of woman on dangerous machine. Power presses other than hydraulic presses, milling machines used in the metal trades, guillotine machine; circular saws and plate printing machines are treated as dangerous machines.

Section 42 of the present Labor Act also prohibits for employment to work of woman in underground or under water. No adolescence male and adolescence female shall be employed in any establishment to lift, carry or move by hand or on head, unaided by another person, any material article, tool or appliance exceeding 50 lbs and 40 lbs respectively in weight.