• Friday, Oct 07, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

All journos, media staff to come under one wage board in new draft law

  • Published at 02:06 pm October 15th, 2018
prime minister hasina cabinet meeting Oct 15
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chairs the cabinet meeting, October 15, 2018 Focus Bangla/File photo

The draft law stipulates a 36-hour workweek for all media workers

Cabinet has approved in principle the Mass Media Employees (Services Conditions) Law 2018, which covers journalists and employees of all media outlets.

Mohammad Shafiul Alam, the Cabinet secretary, told reporters that after the cabinet meeting at the Secretariat yesterday that the law defines employees of all media, including television channels, online news portals, radios and newspapers as mass media employees. Journalists and media workers are currently covered by the Labour Act.

The law comes with a provision to ensure wage board for media workers.

According to the proposed law, Shafiul said:”The working hours for media employees will be 36 hours a week instead of 48 hours, and the casual leave will be 15 days instead of 10 days annually.”

Those working beyond 36 hours will be entitled to overtime, he said.

Every media organization will formulate their own human resource management policy, with approval from an inspection committee formed by the government.

All employees will have to be covered by group insurance. They will also be entitled to two full-salary festival bonuses.

The law also requires media organizations to ensure a woman-friendly environment.

Leaves for media workers under draft Mass Media Employees Law

- 15 days of casual leave per year

- 1 earned leave accumulation per 11 days, up to 100 days

- 1 month recreation leave in every three years

- 10 days of festival leave a year

- Paid maternity leave will be six months in place of the existing eight weeks

- Medical leave at one-eighteenth of a worker’s length of employment

Besides paying wages in accordance with the wage board, employers will have to form provident funds for all employees and pay an equal share. Employees will have provident funds after one year of working.

A person or organization violating the provisions of the law will be liable to a fine between Tk50,000 and Tk5 lakh. The government will be able to shut down offending organizations or withhold facilities.

The draft law says disputes between mass media workers and the owners will have to be resolved through alternative dispute resolution.

A media worker who is owed unpaid salaries will be able to file a case with the court. In case of death, the family will be able to do the same.

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