Leave and Holiday Under Labour Law in Bangladesh: A Comprehensive Guide

In the realm of employment, understanding the legal provisions regarding leave and holidays is vital for both employers and employees. The Labour Law of Bangladesh encompasses various aspects related to leaves, including casual leave, sick leave, and annual leave. Additionally, this article delves into the crucial topic of maternity leave and benefits for women in Bangladesh, shedding light on the legal intricacies and procedures involved.

Types of Leaves under Labour Law

1. Casual Leave

Every worker is entitled to casual leave with full wages for up to 10 days in a calendar year. Notably, this leave does not accumulate and cannot be carried forward to the succeeding year.

2. Sick Leave

Workers have the right to claim sick leave with full wages for 14 days in a calendar year. To avail of sick leave, a registered medical practitioner must examine the worker and issue a certified statement. Like casual leave, sick leave cannot be accumulated for the following year.

3. Annual Leave with Wages

Upon completing one year of continuous service, an adult worker can claim annual leave. The calculation is based on one day of leave with wages for every 18 working days. If not utilized, this leave can be carried forward to the succeeding year.

Types of Holidays Under Labour Law

1. Festival Holidays

Workers are entitled to 11 days of paid festival holidays in a calendar year. If a worker works on a festival holiday, they receive two additional compensatory holidays with full pay and a substitute holiday.

2. Weekly Holidays

Workers can claim weekly holidays based on the nature of their work, with provisions for additional compensatory holidays.

Calculation of Wages during Leave or Holiday

Workers receive wages during leave or holidays at a rate equal to the daily average of their full-time wages. This includes dearness allowances and ad-hoc payments but excludes overtime allowance and bonus.

Payment of Wages for Unavailed Leave

If a worker, due for annual leave, is unable to avail it due to reasons such as retrenchment, discharge, or resignation, the employer must pay wages in lieu of the unavailed leave.

Procedure for Leave

Workers seeking leave must apply in writing to the employer, specifying the leave period. The employer is obligated to respond within seven days of the application or two days before the leave commencement, whichever is earlier.

Acceptance and Refusal of Leave

Employers granting leave issue a leave pass, while refusals must be accompanied by reasons communicated to the worker before the expected leave commencement.

Extension of Leave

Workers seeking an extension must apply in advance, and employers respond in writing, either granting or refusing the extension.

Maternity Benefit

1. Right to Maternity Benefit

Pregnant women have the right to maternity leave and benefits. The benefit period includes eight weeks preceding and following the expected day of delivery.

2. Eligibility for Maternity Benefit

To qualify for maternity benefit, a woman must have worked under the employer for at least six months preceding the delivery. No benefit is payable if she has two or more surviving children at the time of delivery.

3. Procedure for Maternity Benefit

Pregnant women can give notice of their expected confinement, nominate a person to receive benefits in case of death, and be absent from work from the day following the notice until eight weeks after delivery.

4. Amount of Maternity Benefit

Maternity benefits are payable at the daily, weekly, or monthly average wages, calculated based on the three months preceding the notice.

5. Protection against Termination

Any termination notice given to a woman within six months before and eight weeks after delivery, without sufficient cause, will not deprive her of maternity benefits.

Public holidays in Bangladesh 

Many cultures all throughout the world have long-standing customs surrounding public holidays. Public holiday observance is an essential component of Bangladeshi culture. Employees often get paid for 17 days during the festival vacations. Usually, family and friends gather to enjoy these days off, and oftentimes, there are unique cultural performances.

On the other hand, workers during these festivals are entitled to two paid holidays in lieu of compensation. This is a great policy that allows everyone to take time off while also preserving employee morale. Additionally, it makes sure that companies can continue to run smoothly during these unique periods.

New Year’s Day1 January 
Language Martyrs’ Day21 February
Birthday of the father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur17 March
Independence Day26 March
Bengali New Year14 April
May Day01 May
Buddha Purnima15 May
Jumatul Bidah 29 April
Eid-ul-Fitr02, 03 & 04 May, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday
National Mourning Day15 August
Shuba Janmashtami18 August
Eid-ul-Adha09, 10 & 11 July, Saturday, Sunday & Monday
Durga Puja05 October
Ashura09 August
Eid-e-Miladun-Nabi09 October
Victory Day16 December

According to the labor act of Bangladesh, festival holidays may be required to work, but workers shall be provided with two additional compensatory holidays with full pay and a substitute holiday without deduction of wages.

Understanding the nuances of leave and holidays under the Labour Law in Bangladesh is crucial for maintaining a fair and equitable work environment. Employers and employees alike must be aware of their rights and obligations to ensure compliance with the legal framework and foster a healthy workplace. Legal counsel can play a pivotal role in guiding both employers and employees through the complexities of labour laws, offering clarity and protection in the realm of employment rights.


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