Your Legal Advisor
Dear readers, this week Your legal advisor is Ishrat Hasan, Advocate, The Supreme Court of Bangladesh. She is Managing partner of the renowned law firm namely, 'The Law Consultant', Eastern Mansion, 67/9 Pioneer Road, Kakrail, Dhaka, which professionally deals mainly with corporate law, cyber Law, commercial law, family law, employment and labor law, land law, banking law, constitutional law, criminal law, IPR and in conducting litigations before courts of different hierarchies. She can be reached at - cell: 01521515654
e-mail: [email protected]
QueryI have been working in a private apparel industry for more than 7years. Two weeks ago week, the HR department gave me a letter which stated that management would like to terminate me from employment as I am no longer required in the industry. On the other hand, I see my colleagues who were appointed with me working as usual. It shocks me. I spoke to my colleagues and an apprentice lawyer but they seemed inexpert in dealing with the issue. Now I would like to know whether this termination is legal and what remedies do I have?
Thank you for your query. The Bangladesh Labour Act (BLA) of 2006 deals with the matters related to employment in our country. As per Section 2(65) of BLA-2006, you fall under the definition of worker. Your termination from the job is defined as 'Retrenchment' under Section 20 of BLA. Under Section 20 of the BLA, any workers may be retrenched from service of any establishment on the ground of 'redundancy'. Consequently, if the employer faces redundancy or any certain project comes to an end or the particular service is no longer required, etc. then the employer may resort to the option of retrenchment.
Section 20 says - If any worker has been in continuous service under an employer for not less than 1 (one) year, the employer, in the case of retrenchment of such worker, shall give him 1 (one) months' notice in writing mentioning the reasons for his retrenchment or, in lieu of such notice pay him wages for the period of notice. Secondly, the employer shall send a copy of the notice to the Chief Inspector or any other officer specified by him, and another copy to the collective bargaining agent of the establishment, if any; and pay him as compensation 30 (thirty) days' wages for his every year of service or gratuity, if any, whichever is higher. Also, the said notice shall be provided by the employer under the prescribed procedure of rule 27 of the BLR.
Therefore, as you have already served for more than 7 years in that industry, try to make sure the employer performs all these necessary formalities.
As per section 20(4) of the BLA, for a worker of any particular category to be retrenched the employer shall, in the absence of any agreement between the employer and the worker in this regard, retrench the worker who was the last person to be employed in that category. But it is not clear whether you were the last person to be recruited in your position in the concerned department or not. If not, then such retrenchment may not have been made in accordance to the procedure of law.
Alternatively, if you were the only person employed in the particular department who has been terminated due to the dearth of work, then such action can be justified as the valid reason for retrenchment. Therefore, as you have mentioned that your other colleagues are still doing their regular work does not necessarily mean that your retrenchment is unjustified or illegal.
I would rather advise you to consult with the HR department of your industry for a clear understanding of that particular termination. Besides that, you can also serve a grievance notice to HR pointing out the specific reason that you are aggrieved about. I hope this opinion meets your query.