Wednesday, 19 June, 2024, Reg No- 06
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BD garment sector injury scheme to include commuting accidents

Published : Thursday, 16 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 75

The government has expanded the coverage of the pilot employment injury scheme to include compensation for accidents that may occur when workers are commuting to and from work.

The Governance Board of the Employment Injury Scheme (EIS) Pilot during its 8th meeting held on 13 May 2024, unanimously approved the inclusion of commuting accidents as industrial accidents, making them eligible for compensation payout starting from 1st July 2024.  

Chairing the meeting, Md. Mahbub Hossain, Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment ruled: "We are very pleased to include commuting accidents in the Employment Injury Scheme Pilot to ensure protection of industries and workers in Bangladesh".

The decision was unanimously supported by employers organizations, workers organizations and Government agencies who are members of the EIS Pilot Governance Board.

ILO International Labour Organization) technical experts provided insights into key aspects of the technical and financial aspects of such an expansion, including conditions for considering commuting accidents as workplace accidents but keeping separate records as these accidents take place outside the factory and not identifying them with any factory. Additionally, they presented a strong case for the financial sustainability of the coverage of accidents under the EIS Pilot, ILO said in its news website on Tuesday.

Employers associations responded positively saying; "we support fundamental rights of workers for social protection and would be happy to consider new benefits provided they do not affect the industrys competitiveness," agreeing to include commuting accidents under the pilot scheme from 1st July 2024.

The workers representatives also expressed their commitment to support the initiative. "RMG Sector is a relatively safe sector, however, road travel is the most horrible part of this job, therefore commuting accidents are important to be covered".

Article 7 of the ILO Employment Injury Benefits Convention No. 121 (C-121) requires countries to define industrial accidents, including the conditions under which a commuting accident is considered to be an industrial accident. Adapting this measure brings the Bangladesh EIS one-step in closer alignment with the requirements outlined in C -121.

In the ambit of the EIS Pilot, commuting accidents are considered accidents sustained while on the direct way between the place of work and the workers local residence. With the inclusion of commuting accidents in the EIS Pilot, the Pilot now covers two out of three recommended vulnerabilities, with Occupational Diseases as the only outstanding vulnerability.  A process has however started to develop the national capacity and data on occupational diseases.

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