Anti Forced Labor Policy
This policy is applicable for all the factory level workers of Auto Group as well as all staff and employees at every level. To maintain a pleasant and harmonious working environment and to ensure that, nobody is working in the company who doesn’t wish to and so that no one is being forced to render their service against their free will.
That the company will be run only on the basis of voluntary labor as required by ILO Convention and all buyers and the law of Bangladesh.
- The company will not force anyone to continue working for the company under any kind of obligation beyond their will; however will require an employee to provide mutually agreed notice period and leave only after the completion of that, in case they would like to discontinue working for the company. Failure to do this can be penalized financially.
- The company can obligate a person to stay for a certain mutually agreed period of time if the company invests a special amount of funds on the person’s development through imparting of some special training (beyond on the job training, mainly refers to training imparted at from other location through the hiring of some professional trainer or payment of certain fees) to the person. Failure by a staff to stay can be penalized in the form of taking that as compensation the amount invested on the training.
- That the company will not force or influence an employee to not take leaves that they are entitled to
- That the company will not force its employees to work on weekends, beyond normal work times or, on the government holidays which the company has declared that it will follow. At times when any work exigency / contingency would require someone to work at any of this time, it will only be allowed if the individual is willing to render that service and on the condition that individual will be paid something extra; for the workers, it would be Over Time (OT), for the staff, it would be additional allowances. However, if the individual is unwilling to render the service, the company cannot require that person to work even if the company is willing to pay additional compensation for the extra work.
- That the company will not force its employees to continue working beyond their willingness by withholding of any financial benefits that they are entitled to, beyond the time within which they are supposed to get it.
- That the company will compensate extra work for the workers adequately as per the law
- That the company will not force people who are unwell to continue working.
- That the company will not force pregnant women to work beyond the date that they are entitled for being granted maternity leave.
- That the garments workers will not be required to bring any equipment or tool which would be required by them to do their work
- No mid management or supervisor level parson can use any kind of intimidation technique to try and force workers to work at times they are not willing to do.
Regulations & Procedures:
a) All staff and employee will be required to provide a notice period before they leave, so that the company is able to find a replacement or prepare for that situation. The notice period will not exceed 3 months for senior management persons holding the rank of GM and above; not exceeding 2 months for assistant managers up to DGM; and up to 1 month for all trainees, entry level position holders and up to senior executive level. For workers, as per the labor law, they are required to provide 2 months’ notice time.
b) If the company compels someone wanting to leave the company’s service, to serve out this notice period as specified above, and which the employee has agreed to by signing the appointment letter, then such compulsive measures cannot be called “forced labor”.
c) The company can, if it chooses to, to deduct the gross salary of the number of work days by which the notice period may be shortened, provided the clause was included in the appointment letter and agreed to by the employee.
d) The company can ask the employee to sign a bond to ensure service for a certain length of time only if the company provides any special training to the employee at some training institute or where the training was imparted by any external party where additional cost was incurred. The training cost would be spread across the period of the bond, and if the employee chooses to leave the company in the meantime, then he/she would have to repay the company, that remaining part of the cost of the training. This can also be exercised if the company sends someone to some foreign country for some assignment or training on company expense.
e) The company cannot force its employees to not take the leaves that they are entitled to (as elaborated in Leave Policy Section). They can ask the employee to not take the leave and to receive a financial benefit equivalent to that day’s basic salary instead. If however, the employee chooses to take the leave, then the company has to allow the employee to do so. However, if the company feels that the employee has not performed his/her duties adequately during his/her duty time, the company can penalize the employee by other means elaborated in performance policy.
f) The company cannot force the employees to work on the weekends unless it is as a compensation for a day that the company had been forced to remain closed, such as, for a political disturbance. The workers would not be entitled to receive any overtime benefits for such compensatory work. This also includes those additional days that the company remains closed before and after the government announced Eid holidays.
g) The company cannot force its employees to forgo any government holiday that the company has declared as being ones that it will allow, in the annual calendar. If any employee is made to work on any such day, then if he/she is a staff, he/she would have to be paid a certain allowance which would be determined according to their designation for each day of declared government holiday forsaken. For workers, they would have to be paid their overtime at the rate prescribed by the prevailing law of the land. For workers, they are to be provided an extra day of holiday in addition to overtime if they are made to forsake a government holiday, declared as being a holiday to be allowed in the policy of the company.
h) The company cannot force any of its employees, worker or staff, to come to office or the factory on a day of Hartal or widespread political street violence, unless the employee’s residence is within close proximity of the workplace. The company cannot force any female office staff to come to work on such a day. However, if there is an office or factory of the company close to that person’s residence, then the person would be required to go and attend work at the nearest branch or factory of the company.
i) The company may ask its staff and office employees to work beyond standard work hours depending on workload, on special requirement without paying any overtime or any benefit. However, this cannot happen on more than 50% of the work days of the month.
j) The company cannot force its workers in the factory to work overtime unless they are willing to do so. The company cannot use the threat of financial penalties or use threat of
job loss or any kind of harassment to extract obedience and agreement. The company needs to obtain signatures from workers indicating that they accept to do the overtime.
k) The company cannot force a pregnant woman to work beyond the date which marks the 2 month waiting time from the expected date of delivery
l) The company cannot force an employee who is feeling unwell to continue working on that day. However the employee will also require a certificate from the company doctor before leaving for that day, or will require bringing a medical certificate to prove ailment the following day or when he/she returns. If the employee leaves at such a time that more than 33% of the normal working hours are not utilized, then his/her leave quota may be reduced by that proportion of a day of leave.
Workers are to be provided with the signup sheet where they give their names and signatures to show that they are accepting to provide the overtime service. This will be also applicable for government holidays and any exceptional weekend work. Admin and HR Department of factory will be responsible for collecting signature and necessary check and verification. In case of any incident of forced labor worker/staff can inform HR/Welfare Department to escalade the matter to the top management.
For the staff, chart of allowance will be followed based on the designation and HR will use that.
Responsible Parties:All department heads and specially the production management are responsible for abiding by these policies and implementing it in the production area.Director HR, and the HR, Compliance and Welfare Departments will be responsible for checking and ensuring that the rules are being followed properly. They are also responsible for conducting awareness programs about these policies to all people concerned. Admin is responsible for collecting workers’ signature on the overtime paper. HR & Welfare Departments have to ensure that, workers’ work hour time is properly recorded and compensated.
Communication & Implementation:
The policies are to be communicated to all levels of management through regular and repeated discussions during meetings and implemented and followed up on accordingly.
The policy is to be published in the policy book, so it will be visible to all the employees. A Bangla version of the policy will be provided to the junior factory level staffs and workers.
The rules above are in conformity with the law of the land. Only such exceptions which do not contradict the law of the land may be permitted by the signatories below, based on a mail with justification explained by the person wanting to make the exception.
Feedback & Control:
Internal compliance department will make sure that HR, Administration and Welfare Departments are performing their responsibilities related to this policy.
The Responsible Parties as mentioned below will remain alert and collect information through formal and informal channels of any and all incidents that may be, in breach of these regulations and will report them to the signatories.
Any individual if feels that he/she is being subjective to forced labor can lodge a complaint to the Director of that factory, or to the Director of HR, Welfare and Compliance. The person can also report the incident at anonymous letter at the complaint box.
Engr. Kh. Mashiur Rahman