The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) is a department under the Ministry of Labour and Employment. This department is responsible for ensuring welfare, safety and health of valuable human resources working in various sectors contributing national development. By enforcing labour laws of the country, the department has been leading the nation in creating a safe and healthy work culture and improving the quality of wage earner. The DIFE is no longer considered a mere labour law enforcement agency, it provides information and advice to employers and workers concerning the most effective means of complying with the legal provisions. The DIFE Collaborates with various government and private organizations, agencies along with international organizations specially ILO to facilitate policy, planning, measures and directions adopted to enhance occupational safety and health for all workers by appropriate working conditions and environment.
In 1969, on the basis of the Pakistan Government along with the report made by Air Vice Marshal Nur Khan, labour department was divided into three parts: (1) Labour Department (2) Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments and (3) Department of Trade union Registration. In the following year in 1970, The Department of inspection for Factories and Establishments was created as a separate department in pursuance of ILO Labour Inspection Convention No. 81 and labour policy of 1969. Bangladesh emerges as an independent and sovereign country in the world map through a glorious liberation war in 1971. Over the long span of 42 years of independence, a huge number of factories, shops and commercial establishments has flourished in the country. The importance of industry and trade is increasing day by day. Millions of workers are working in these sectors. The Department of inspection for Factories and Establishments has been carrying out the responsibilities by ensuring legal rights, safe and hygienic work place for the huge number of working people.
A report of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics,2001 states that the number of manufacturing units in Bangladesh at that time was 2,42,818 and the number of shops, hotels, construction companies and commercial health service centres was 20,15,117. It is very reasonably assumed that the number of workplace has increased manifold over these years than the statistics published in thirteen years ago.
The Department of inspection for Factories and Establishments was discharging its responsibilities by enforcing the law set out in the Bangladesh Labour Act 2006 in such huge number of factories and commercial establishments. The department has been playing a crucial role in ensuring compliance specially in garments factory. But the manpower, infra-structure and logistic support of DIFE was very meager compared to the total number of factories, shops and commercial establishments.
In such a context, following the directions of the Honorable Prime Minister, the Ministry of Labour and Employment took a move for upgrading the Directorate to The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments along with increasing its manpower. On 15.01.2014, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, after completing all formalities, issued the government order of upgrading the. The Department of inspection for Factories and Establishments from a directorate into a department having a headquarters and 23 district offices with 993 manpower of which 679 new posts created in revenue budget.