Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) has asked the management of footwear retailers to comply with labor laws regarding weekly holidays and overtime.
DIFE, a wing of the Ministry of Labor and Employment, has served a letter to several footwear retailer asking to comply with the rules from the first week of March.
According to a source at the DIFE, the letter was sent to BATA, Apex, Bay Emporium, Lotto and ZEiL'S Shop.
“As per the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Ministry of Labour and Employment, we came to know that your shops or organisations are not complying with the rules regarding working hours, overtime, and weekly and annual holidays of Bangladesh Labor Act 2013” , the DIFE said in a letter sent to the outlets on March 6. The letter was signed by the DIFE deputy inspector Md Zakir Hossain.
A letter obtained by the Dhaka Tribune shows that the authorities asked the concerned management of the footwear retail outlets to take measures to ensure legal compliance.
According to the Labor Act 2013, daily working hours is eight and the maximum limit is 10 hours. Generally, weekly working hours are 48 hours and it cannot exceed 60 hours. And a worker will enjoy a weekly holiday. In case of overtime, workers must get paid as per the law.
“We have served letter to several footwear retail outlets in the capital as the standing committee recommendations found violation of law,” DIFE Inspector General Md Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan told the Dhaka Tribune.
“In implementing the recommendations of the committee, we asked the management of the outlet to submit monthly compliance report,” said Shamsuzzaman.
“As per the direction of Labor Act, We comply weekly holidays and working hours. In case of weekly holiday, it is complied with as there is a holiday in every shopping complex,” Mizanur Rahman, General Manager (Human Resource) of Apex Footwear told the Dhaka tribune.
If there are any more working days or working hours, it is done with the consent of workers and it is adjusted by giving leave in other working days and payment as per the law, said Mizanur.
Our weekly working hours do not exceed the limits, he added.
For comment from the BATA Shoes, the Dhaka Tribune tried several time over phone, but was unable to reach someone in management.