Definition of Worker in Bangladesh Labour Law

Who is a "worker" under Bangladesh Labour Law?

The first legal issue that has to be considered is whether the said Employee is entitled to any benefits or protection under the Bangladesh Labour Act 2006 for which one must satisfy the definition of a “worker” since the Employee is seeking rights and benefits under the Act. The definition of “worker” is mentioned at section 2(65) of the Act is as follows:


“ ‘’worker’’ means any person including an apprentice employed in any establishment or industry………….to do any skilled, unskilled, manual, technical, trade promotional or clerical work for hire or reward, whether the terms of employment are expressed or implied, but does not include a person employed mainly in managerial, administrative [or supervisory] capacity”


The above definition of the law stipulates clearly that a person who is employed mainly in a managerial or administrative capacity cannot be considered as a worker within the ambit of the law. This notion is confirmed by the apex court of the land in several cases including Managing Director, Rupali Bank Limited vs Md. Nazrul Islam Patwary & others (1996) [48 DLR (AD) 62] in which case the Court held that a person who is in no way connected with the management of the company (in that case a Bank) is a worker. In Sonali Bank and another vs. Chandon Kumar Nandi. (1996) 48 DLR 330 the court held that any person working in a commercial establishment in any managerial or administrative capacity will not be considered as a worker of that establishment.

The Court and subsequent Courts further directed that instead of considering the given designation of an employee, his nature of the job done must be considered as the key factor to see whether the given employee is a worker within the meaning of the law.[Mujibur Rahman Sarkar v Labour Court, Khulna (1981) 31 DLR 301]

An employee performing clerical tasks has been held by the court to be a worker. In the abovementioned suit [Sonali Bank and another vs. Chandon Kumar Nandi [(1996) 48 DLR 330] it was also held that the [given] definition of worker is a general definition and an Assistant Cashier, since not doing managerial or administrative job but doing a clerical work, is a worker.

Mere designation is not sufficient to indicate whether a person is worker but, it is the nature of work showing the extent of his authority, determines whether he is a worker or not. [Mijibur Rahman Sarker vs. Labour Court Khulna (1981) 31 DLR 301]