Engage In Bangladesh

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About Bangladesh

Capital City

Dhaka

Population

As of March 2024, the estimated population of Bangladesh is 172.9 million.

Currency

The currency in Bangladesh is the Bangladeshi Taka (BDT). The currency symbol is ৳‎.

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Overview

Bangladesh, located in South Asia, is a densely populated country in the delta of the Padma (Ganges) and Jamuna (Brahmaputra) rivers. With its capital in Dhaka, Bangladesh is known for its rich cultural heritage and predominantly Muslim population. Formerly part of British India and later East Pakistan, Bangladesh gained independence in 1971 after a fierce war, with the support of neighboring India. Bangladesh is a low-lying nation vulnerable to flooding and cyclones, and rising sea levels pose significant threats. Despite these challenges, Bangladesh has made significant strides in reducing population growth and improving health and education. The country’s political landscape remains volatile, and it has experienced periods of military rule. The current president, Mohammad Abdul Hamid, assumed office in 2013, while Sheikh Hasina has led as the Prime Minister since 2014. Bangladesh’s media outlets tend to be politically polarized, aligning themselves with different factions. Overall, Bangladesh is a nation with a rich history, diverse culture, and ongoing efforts to overcome socio-economic challenges.

Employment Relationship

Permanent Employment

In Bangladesh, a permanent employee is defined as someone who is employed in an establishment on a permanent basis or has completed their probationary period in the establishment. Permanent employment contracts can be terminated by giving a notice of 120 days as opposed to other types of employment contracts where 60 days' notice is required. Permanent employees can terminate their contract by resignation with a 30 days notice. They are also entitled to severance pay upon termination of their contract. In any organization where at least 25 permanent employees are employed, the employer must  introduce group insurance for employees. Permanent employees must also be paid festival bonus in the amount of two months' wages.     

Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

In Bangladesh, a worker may be called a substitute, casual, or seasonal worker depending on the nature of their employment. A substitute worker is employed to fill the post of a permanent worker or a probationer during their absence. A casual worker is employed under a special arrangement or contract. A seasonal worker is hired for seasonal works and only remains to be employed until the season ends. The Labor Act does not limit either the maximum length of a fixed-term contract or the number of renewals. Temporary employees who have worked for more than one year in the same organization are considered permanent.

Temporary Employment Contratcs

In Bangladesh, a temporary employee is any person employed in an establishment for work performed within a limited period. One of an employer's obligations is to supply tickets or cards for inspection to all workers in his establishment, including those employed under temporary contracts. A temporary employee shall be given a temporary ticket which shall be surrendered upon termination or getting permanent employment. Temporary employees can terminate their contracts by giving a 15 days' notice in writing. Temporary employees who have worked for more than 1 year in the same organization are considered permanent. Temporary employees hired from third-party employers must be compensated the same as employees hired directly by the employer.  Temporary employment agencies must open accounts in an approved bank in the name of "Worker's Social Security Fund" within 6 months of obtaining a license. The agency must contribute 15% of the monthly base salary to the account for each employee. 

Probationary Period

The maximum probationary period in Bangladesh is 6 months for clerical workers and 3 months for all others. If the quality of work has not been determined during the probationary period, it may be extended for another 3 months. Once probationary period is over, an employee is deemed permanent whether they have been issued a confirmation letter or not, unless advised otherwise.

Working Hours

Employees may not be required or allowed to work in an establishment for more than 8 hours per day on a regular basis (occasionally, they may work up to 10 hours a day). Standard weekly working hours may not exceed 48 hours. The total hours of work (that includes overtime) cannot go over 60 hours in any week and, on average, 56 hours per week in a year.

Holidays / PTO

Statutory Holidays

Employees are generally entitled to 11 days of festival holidays (determined by employer) with pay. If required to work on a holiday, employees may receive two compensatory paid and one substitute holiday.

Major holidays for include:

  • Shaheed Day and International Mother Language Day - February 21
  • Independence and National Day - March 26
  • Bengali New Year’s Day - April 14
  • May Day - May 1
  • Buddha Purnima (Boishakhi Purnima) - date subject to change every year
  • Shab-e-Qadar - date subject to change every year
  • Eid-ul-Fitr (3 days' leave) - dates subject to change every year
  • Eid-ul-Azha (3 days' leave) - dates subject to change every year
  • National Mourning Day - August 15
  • Krishna Janamashtami - date subject to change every year
  • Moharrum (Ashura) - date subject to change every year
  • Durga Puja (Bijoya Dashami) - date subject to change every year
  • Eid-e-Miladun-Nabi - date subject to change every year
  • Victory Day - December 16
  • Christmas Day - December 25
  • New Year's Eve - December 31

Paid Annual Leave

The qualifying period for all employees' annual leave entitlement is 1 year of continuous service in an establishment with a minimum of 240 days of service within the previous 12 months. 1 day for every 18 days in a shop, commercial, industrial establishment, factory, or road transport 1 day for every 22 days on a tea plantation 1 day for every 11 days for newspaper workers Unused annual leave may be carried forward up to 40 days for most workers (60 days in some cases). If an employee plans to take four or more days of consecutive leave, they may be paid in advance. Other than annual leave, all employees, except those employed in a tea plantation, are entitled to 10 days' paid casual leave during a calendar year. This type of leave cannot be carried forward.

Sick Leave

Private sector employees are entitled to annual paid sick leave of 14 days with a required medical certificate and no carry forward permitted. Public sector employees are entitled to a medical leave of up to 6 months with a medical certificate.

Maternity Leave

Employees who have worked for at least 6 months (or under 6 months if unpaid) are entitled to 8 weeks of employer-paid maternity leave before the birth of a child and 8 weeks of paid leave after. Employers are prohibited from knowingly employing a woman, and women are also prohibited from working during the 8 weeks immediately following the delivery date. If an employee miscarries before the beginning of the maternity leave, the employee is entitled to 4 weeks of paid leave. Every female employee who has been in service under the same employer for at least 6 months is entitled to maternity benefits unless she has 2 or more surviving children at the time of her delivery. Leave for a third or subsequent child is unpaid. The maternity benefit shall be calculated by monthly earnings divided by 26.  The employer must pay the total cost of the maternity benefit, and the benefit must be paid for 8 weeks before and 8 weeks after childbirth. If the mother dies during childbirth or up to 8 weeks after childbirth, the benefit is paid to the person who cares for the child.

Paternity Leave

New fathers may use the fully paid casual leave of 10 days in the absence of statutory paternity leave.

Termination of Employment

Notice Period

In Bangladesh, an employer who wishes to dismiss a permanent employee must provide a notice in writing of: 120 days (for permanent employees) 60 days (for all other employees) Any employee who wishes to resign must give their employer notice in writing: 30 days for a permanent employee 15 days for temporary employee or any other employee If an employee wishes to leave work without notice, they must pay their employer an amount equal to the wages they earned for the period of notice.

Severance Benefits

Severance pay is payable to an employee who has been continuously employed for at least 1 year in the event of a: Termination based on physical or mental incapacity or continued ill-health (referred to as 'discharge') Termination with notice without any reason. In both cases, severance pay amounts to 30 days' wages for each completed year of service or for any part thereof in excess of 6 months (limited to 25 years). Additionally, workers are entitled to 45 days' wages for each completed year above 10 completed years. In case an employee is dismissed for misconduct other than theft, misappropriation, fraud, embezzlement, breaking in the establishment, 'riot' or “disorderliness“, they are entitled to a severance pay of at least 15 days' wages for each completed year of service.

Social Security

Pension

To partly alleviate the situation of absolute poverty in the country, the government provides an old-age allowance where the recipient must be at least 65 years of age (62 years of age for women), and their annual average income must be under BDT 3,000 (Bangladeshi takas). Priority is given to those who are physically and mentally infirm or handicapped, have no assets, are homeless, landless, freedom fighters, widowed, divorced, single, and deserted by their family. Beneficiaries of old-age allowance receive BDT 500 a month payable every quarter, without limit of time. Private employees can participate in a voluntary pension scheme called the Universal Pension Scheme. There are four plans available under the Universal Pension Scheme: Pragati, Surokkha, Samata, and Probas. Only Bengali citizens are eligible to enroll, and a worker must complete 10 years of contributions to be entitled to a pension. Workers can contribute for up to 42 years, assuming they start making contributions at 18 years of age. The amount is the total sum of contributions plus any interest accrued. 

Dependents/Survivors Benefit

If an employee dies while in service after continuous work at least two years, his or her nominee (or in the absence of such, dependents), must be paid by the employer a compensation at the rate of 30 days’ wages for a normal death and of 45 days for accidental death occurred while working in the establishment or on duty for every completed year of service or any part thereof over six months, or gratuity (whichever is higher). The amount is an addition to any other benefit to which the deceased employee would have been entitled to if he or she had retired from the service. Under the new voluntary Universal Pension Scheme, pensioners who are entitled to receive benefits through this scheme may nominate a beneficiary in the event of death before the age of 75. The nominated beneficiary will receive the monthly payments on behalf of the pensioner until the date the pensioner would have reached the age of 75. If the pensioner does not specify a beneficiary, the heir or successor of the pensioner will be the beneficiary. 

Invalidity Benefit

Compensation for invalidity benefits is calculated as follows: If an employee is in the service for a continuous period of at least 12 months immediately preceding the accident, the monthly compensation will be one-twelfth of the total compensation paid to them for the preceding 12 months. If an employee is in the service for a continuous period of less than one month immediately preceding the accident, the monthly compensation is the monthly average of what is being earned by a worker employed in the same post in the same establishment during the preceding 12 months. In other cases, the compensation is 30 times the total wages earned from the employer for a continuous period of service immediately preceding the accident divided by the number of days in this period.

Taxation of Compensation and Benefits

Personal Income Tax

Residents must pay income tax on their worldwide income, while non-residents are taxed on income earned in Bangladesh. Individuals are considered residents if they have been in Bangladesh for a period of 182 days or more in the relevant year or 90 days or more in the relevant tax year and they have been in Bangladesh for a period of 365 days or more during the four years preceding the relevant tax year. There is a progressive scale of income tax rates ranging from 0% to 25%.

Immigration

Types of Visas

Citizens of most countries require a valid visa to enter Bangladesh. There are about 30 categories of visas available for Heads of State, government delegates, diplomatic officials, UN and other international organizations' officials, NGO workers, employees, consultants, business people, investors, research, athletes, journalists, students, and their family members. Stay durations vary depending on visa types: Single entry visa – valid for 6 months, allows staying for not more than 3 months. Transit visa – valid for 6 months for persons traveling to other countries via Bangladesh, allows staying for not more than 15 days. Multiple entry visa – valid for 6 months for multiple entries, allows for stay up to 3 months at one time

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