The government will provide Tk3,000 per month in cash assistance to the destitute workers in the export-oriented garment, and leather goods and footwear industries who have become jobless during the current novel coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to the unemployed workers amid the Covid situation, workers who have been physically disabled due to accidents or are unable to return to work due to illness will also get this assistance.
A worker will get the cash support for a maximum of three months. Currently jobless workers who had been working in either of these two sectors till at least last February will be eligible for getting this assistance.
If a worker rejoins work or gets a new job will not get the assistance from the month they rejoin the job.
In other words, any worker of these two industries who is yet to rejoin the job due to unemployment or illness caused by Covid-19 will get Tk3,000 for three months.
The Labour and Employment Bank on Wednesday issued a guideline to this effect and said the guideline will come into force this month.
The government is distributing this money as humanitarian assistance to unemployed workers in the country's two main export sectors, with financial support from the European Union and the German government.
Labour Secretary KM Abdus Salam told The Business Standard that a committee has been formed to provide cash assistance under this guideline. The committee will now hold a meeting and start providing the cash assistance to the distressed workers as soon as possible, he added.
This assistance will also be given to new mothers who have been deprived of maternity welfare benefits and have not been re-employed, and workers who have been infected with any other disease, including Covid-19, and are unable to work.
Besides, workers who have lost their temporary jobs but are ineligible for compensation and among laid-off or terminated workers who have not received compensation and are still unemployed, unemployed workers who have lost their jobs after completing eight months in the job due to permanent factory closures will also get this assistance.
According to the notification, workers who have become destitute due to job loss or illness amid the pandemic will receive the assistance from member factories of BGMEA and BKMEA – the two associations of apparel exporters, and LFMEAB or BFLLFEA – the two associations of traders in the leather and footwear industry.
Setting criteria for the selection of beneficiary workers, the notification said the factories will initially make a list of these workers, which will be verified by the industrial organisations.
Later, the Directorate of Labour will verify the list and present it at the meeting of the implementation committee headed by the Director General of the Directorate of Labour.
After the approval of the committee, the cash assistance will be sent directly to the beneficiary workers' bank accounts or mobile bank accounts under the G2P system. In this case, any bank charge or cash-out charge of mobile financial service providers will be paid by the government.
This programme will be implemented in the current and next fiscal years.
After successful implementation of the programme in the first two years, the government will turn it into a permanent social security programme.