November 13, 2023
DHAKA – The government today published the gazette on the recently declared minimum wage for garment workers, setting the monthly pay at Tk 12,500 and reducing the number of grades to five from seven.
The Minimum Wage Board, an authority under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, also asked people to submit objections, if any, within 14 days of the gazette’s publication for any required revision.
In the gazette, the number of grades of garment workers has been brought down to five from seven as demanded by the representatives of both workers and owners to the board formed on April 9.
The new wage will come into effect from December 1 and workers will receive salaries under the new structure in January.
According to the gazette, a fifth-grade or entry-level worker will receive Tk 12,500 as the minimum monthly salary. Of the amount, Tk 6,700 has been fixed as basic salary, Tk 3,350 as the house rent, Tk 750 as medical allowance, Tk 450 as conveyance, and Tk 1,250 as food allowance.
Workers in the fourth grade will get Tk 13,025, which includes Tk 7,050 as the basic salary, Tk 3,525 as the house rent, Tk 750 as the medical allowance, Tk 450 conveyance, and Tk 1,250 as food allowance.
Workers of the third grade will be paid Tk 13,550 as the monthly minimum wage. Of the sum, Tk 7,400 is the basic salary, Tk 3,700 is the house rent, Tk 750 is the medical allowance, Tk 450 is the conveyance and Tk 1,250 is the food allowance.
Second-grade workers’ minimum salary has been set at Tk 14,150. Of the sum, Tk 7,800 is basic salary, Tk 3,900 is house rent, Tk 750 is medical allowance, Tk 450 is conveyance, and Tk 1,250 is food allowance.
First-grade workers will receive Tk 14,750 as the minimum wage each month. Of the sum, Tk 8,200 has been fixed as basic salary, Tk 4,100 as house rent, Tk 750 as medical allowance, Tk 450 as conveyance, and Tk 1,250 as food allowance.
The gross salary of an apprentice worker has been fixed at Tk 9,875, which includes Tk 4,950 as basic salary, Tk 2,475 as house rent, Tk 750 as medical allowance, Tk 450 as conveyance, and Tk 1,250 as food allowance.
The tenure of the apprenticeship will be three months, and if the apprenticeship is not finished by then, it can be extended by three more months. The worker will be given a job after the tenure.
The government also published the salary range for employees employed at the apparel factories.
The minimum monthly salary for a fourth-grade employee has been fixed at Tk 12,800. It is Tk 15,200 for a third-grade employee, Tk 15,950 for second-grade employees, and Tk 18,800 for first-grade employees.
An apprentice employee will receive a minimum gross salary of Tk 9,950.
Jafrul Hasan Sharif, a lawyer of the Supreme Court, said the new wage structure needed to be analysed by collecting more data.
“The government should check the higher house rent in industrial zones as landlords raise it abnormally after the wage of workers is hiked.”
The lawyer said the minimum wage will bring about no benefits for workers if inflation can’t be contained effectively.
In 1986, the minimum wage for garment workers was fixed for the first time at Tk 627. It was hiked by 48.33 percent to Tk 930 in 1994 and by 78.71 percent to Tk 1,662 in 2006.
In 2010, the salary was revised upwards to Tk 3,000, registering a rise of 80.51 percent.
In 2013, the wage was fixed at Tk 5,300, a rise of 76.67 percent, and in 2018, it went up by 50.94 percent to Tk 8,000.