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Labour Code - Criminal Offences, Prosecution and Sentencing
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Bangladesh Law Page

Criminal Offences, Prosecutions and sentences involving the Labour Code

Offences and Sentences
There are a number of new offences - as well as significantly more stringent penalties that can be imposed by the court - relating to health, safety and welfare issues in the new labout code.

Section 93 of the old Factories Act, stated that unless otherwise provided, the maximum fine for all contraventions was tk 1000 with a further fine of tk 75 for every additional day of contravention. Now for certain offences, the maximum fines are considerably higher.

Violations resulting in deaths, GBH or other harm (section 309): These offences involving death or injury are new offences.

Any person who violates any provision of the code that:

- results in death, that person can be sentenced upto four years imprisoment or with a fine of upto 1 lakh taka
- results in ‘grievious bodily harm”, can be sentenced to two years imprisonment or a fine of upto 10,000 taka or both.
- Results in any other harm to a worker or other person or causes any other danger, he can be sentenced to six months imprisonment or a fine of upto 2,000 taka.

The court can order that any fine imposed for the above can be given to the injured person or to the legal representative of the deceased person.

Selling or renting unguarded machinery (section 208): A person who is found guilty of selling or renting a piece of machinery that does not comply with section 67 (relating to guarding and casing of new machinery) can be sentenced to three month imprisonment and a fine of upto tk 1000. (This was section 28 of the Factories Act and the maximum fines was 500 taka)

Failure to notify authorities of deaths or serious injuries (section 290): If a person does not notify the authorities of an “accident causing serious injury” (as required by section 80 of the Labour Code), that person can be fined upto Taka 1000; a failure to notify the authorities of an ‘accident causing death’ will result in a fine of upto tk 3000 or six months imprisonment. (This was section XX of the Factories Act and the maximum fines was XX taka)

All other violations of health and safety duties (section 307): Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any other provision of the Code or other rules, or scheme made under the Code, can be sentenced to three months imprisonment or a fine of upto 1000 taka or both. (This is similiar to section 93 of the Factories Act. The fine level is the same though in the Factories Act, it was stated that if the contravention is continued after convictions, a further fine of taka 75 could be imposed for every further day that the offence was committed, but there was no option of imprisonment)

Repeat offence (section 308): Any person who is convicted for a second time within two years of the previous offence can be sentenced to double the level of fine or imprisonment as set out in the Code. (This is similiar to section 95 of the Factories Act)

Offences by a firm, company (312): where the convicted defendent is a "company, firm or other statutory body", every director, partner, shareholder or manager or secretary or any other officer or representative directly involved in the administration of such company or body shall be deemed to be guilty of such offence unless he proves that the offence has been commited without his knowledge or consent or he has tried his best to prevent the offence.

Other sentencing powers
In addition to any fine or sentence of imprisonment imposed the court can also impose an order upon the employer requiring him to take such measures to remedy the offence for which the person was convicted. During the period of time specified for such changes to be made, the employer can not be convicted for continuation of this offence. If the order is not fully complied with, the employer can be convicted of upto six months imprisonment or with a fine of upto tk 2000. (This was section 104 of the Factories Act. A failure to comply with the order.)

Process of Prosecution
All prosecutions for offences in the Labour Code 2006 must take place in the Labour Court - rather than in the Magistrates Courts as before - and the court should follow the Criminal Procedure Code (section 313(1)).

Complaints can be lodged either by an inspector [Section 319(5) allows an inspector to “lodge a complaint to the Labour Court with regard to commission of any offence”] or an “aggrieved person or trade union” – but they must be done so within six months of the commission of the offence (section 313(2).

To read the text of the relevant sections mentioned above, click here

Section 93 of old Factories Act 1965
"General penalty for offences.
Save as is otherwise expressly provided in this Act and subject to the provisions of section 94, if in, or in respect of, any factory, there is any contravention of any of the provisions of this Act or any rules made thereunder, the occupier and the manager of the factory shall each be guilty of an offence punishable with a fine which may extend to Taka one thousand and, if the contravention is continued after conviction, with a further fine which may extend to Taka seventy-five for every day of the period during which the contravention continues."

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Page last updated on April 26, 2007