22-Year-Old Serina Akter: Denied Maternity Leave by Next Collections Management

February, 11 2014 Share

Serina Akter
-22 years of age-

Denied Maternity Leave by Next Collections Management

Her infant died;
Next Collections Must Make Amends.

Serina Akter, 22 years old, joined the Next Collections Limited factory on January 8, 2013 as an assistant sewing machine operator on Line 183.  Serina’s identity card number is 65016.

As of August 30, 2013, Serina was six months pregnant and still working in the factory.  Factory production manager, Firoz, lied and told Serina she would have to resign.  As difficult as it was for Serina, she continued working until October 13, 2013.  She had worked at the factory for over nine months.

On October 13, 2013, Serina went to meet with Next Collections’ welfare officer, Ms. Shamima, to arrange for her maternity leave.  Shamima lied to Serina, telling her, “You are not eligible for maternity leave and benefits because you have not worked six months before your pregnancy.”

Management paid Serina for her 13 days of work in October and told her to leave.

Under Bangladeshi law, it does not matter when a woman conceives.  The law stipulates that if she has worked for her employer for six months, she is eligible for paid maternity leave.  Since Serina had worked at Next Collections for more than nine months, she certainly had a legal right to paid maternity leave.

Maternity Leave Law, Section 46:

Right to, and liability for, payment of maternity benefits:  Every woman employed in an establishment shall be entitled to, and her employer shall be liable for, the payment of maternity benefit in respect of the period of eight weeks preceding the expected day of her delivery and eight weeks immediately following the day of her delivery.

Provided that a woman shall not be entitled to such maternity benefit unless she has worked under the employer for a period of not less than six months immediately preceding the day of her delivery.”

Source:  “Labour and Industrial Laws of Bangladesh Labour Act 2006 and Other Cognate Labour Laws,” June 2007, Nirmalendu Dhar, ReMiSi publisher

Serina left Dhaka after the Eid religious holiday, returning to the countryside in North Bengal and staying with her parents as she prepared to give birth.  According to an ultra-sonogram report, her due date was December 14, 2013.

When Next Collections management cheated Serina and illegally denied her maternity benefits, she was unable to pay for pre-natal care in a local hospital.

A local midwife delivered Serina’s baby in her parents’ home at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 6, 2013.  The baby was of normal weight but did not have any heart beat after delivery.

No one can return Serina’s infant to life.  But what Serina and other brave workers can do is to hold Next Collections management accountable.  Serina must be paid at least one year’s full wages, including all overtime.  That is the only way to stop such horrible abuse of life.






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