The second wave of the pandemic is sweeping across Bangladesh as the calendar turns to commemorate May Day 2021. Many hundreds of thousands of workers continue to work hard to keep the society and the economy functioning. The labour market is mostly made up of a multitude of worker groups, consisting of regular, temporary and casual workers. The market also includes small-scale employers, especially those that are self-employed and engaged in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), commerce, tourism, construction, road, retail and various other informal sectors.
As the country tackles the second tsunami of COVID-19 cases, the nation’s daily wage earners sit idle, unable to earn regularly due to the lockdown. It is important to establish urgent safety net programmes for low-wage workers, the self-employed, and workers and enterprises across v all the hard-hit sectors including informal ones to return dignity back to those who keep the country running.