Listed cos asked to give info on 5pc profit sharing with workers

A file photo shows workers sewing clothes at a garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka. The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission has requested information from all listed companies on the establishment of worker profit sharing fund and worker welfare fund as the stock market regulator has found that many companies have not yet created such funds. — New Age Photo

The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission has requested information from all listed companies on the establishment of worker profit sharing fund and worker welfare fund as the stock market regulator has found that many companies have not yet created such funds.

Companies are required to establish WPPF and WWF according to Section 234 of Bangladesh Labor Act, 2006.

The BSEC recently sent separate letters to all listed companies in this regard.

After getting the information, the securities regulator would force companies to follow labor laws, BSEC officials said.

According to the Bangladesh Labor Act 2006, any business with a minimum paid up capital of Tk 1 crore or real estate assets worth a minimum of Tk 2 crore will be required to contribute 5% of its net profit to welfare workers.

Of this amount, 80% goes to the equity fund, 10% to the company welfare fund and the remaining 10% goes to the workers welfare fund established under the Workers Foundation Act 2006 from Bangladesh.

The letter from the BSEC to the listed companies indicates that, according to Articles 242 and 243 of the law, the funds must be used for the respective purposes.

All listed companies are asked to provide information on the creation of these funds and their use and submit them to the securities regulator, he said.

According to the Ministry of Labour, only 242 local and multinational companies have donated Tk 612 crore to the Bangladesh Labor Welfare Foundation since 2006.

Many for-profit companies refrain from donating to him in defiance of the law, ministry sources said.

The government has established the foundation fund under the Bangladesh Labor Act for the welfare of the workers.

This fund provides assistance to workers in the formal and informal sectors in the treatment of industrial accidents, incurable diseases and for the higher education of deserving children of workers.

The families of workers who died in industrial accidents also obtain compensation from the fund.

The number of companies listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange is 348.

Among them, about 90 are in loss while more than 250 companies are making a profit, according to DSE sources.

However, many for-profit companies lack WPPF and WWF.

On February 27, 2021, BSEC requested Dhaka Stock Exchange Limited and Central Depository Bangladesh Limited to distribute 5% of their profits to their employees in accordance with labor laws.

Sources from the Office of the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Companies said they have provided licenses to at least 1.5 lakh companies across the country.

On March 27, the BSEC expressed concerns about the interest of Grameenphone shareholders after recent unrest by workers at Grameen Telecom, a major shareholder of GP.

A number of cases were filed at the end of 2016, after it was observed that Grameen Telecom had violated Bangladesh’s labor law by not sharing with its employees the profits it had earned since 2006 and the contributions are around Tk 250 crore now.

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