Ever wondered what the Labor Laws in Pakistan are? Here is a quick recap For Dummies. Don’t be exploited at work! You deserve to know!
Labor Laws in Pakistan in a Nutshell
You do not have to be a lawyer to know your rights. Here is how the law protects you and upholds your interests as an individual. No corporation is allowed to exploit you! The Islamic Republic of Pakistan allows you to enjoy several protections by the legislature in terms of the labor laws. No human being is bound to work like a dog and the state upholds protection for you through the provision of law.
Labor enjoys laws on termination, appointment, basic working pay, minimum wage, minimum working hours, leaves and holidays as well as safety at work. For instance, any worker who falls ill at the workplace or during work hours is the responsibility of the employer until healthy.
Similarly, there are child labor laws in place to protect minors. There are also several harassment protection laws as well as guidelines to deal with these subject matters in Pakistan.
Labor Laws in Pakistan For Dummies
Here is a quick recap of some of the major laws designed to protect the workforce from any harm and exploitation.
Right to work
The Article 18 of the Constitution allows every citizen the right to enter any lawful profession or occupation. There must be a legal existence of the company, small business or employer for any law to apply.
People are allowed to conduct any lawful trade or business, the Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance was enacted in 1968.
The Ordinance applies to all industrial and commercial establishments that employ 20 or more workers. For domestic servants, farmers or casual labor engaged by contractors, are bound orally.
Overtime and working hours
According to the law, regular working hours per day are 8-9 hours and these should not be more than 48 hours per week. Some companies require lesser, some require more but count anything above 48 hours overtime. Some companies pay for the overtime others do not.
By including lunch and prayer time in hours of work, working hours should not be greater than 9 hours a day. All people are entitled to a more than 1-hour break during these 9 hours. And 1-hour break if the working hours are 8.
Wages and payment rules:
All industrial workers are to be paid within seven days of completion of the wages period if the number of workers employed by them is less than 1,000. If more people are employed by the company the maximum number of days that the payment can be delayed is 10 days.
Contract or none?
Every employer has the right to a formal appointment letter at the time of employment of each worker. The obligatory contents of each labor contract, are confined to the main terms and conditions of employment.
These include the nature and tenure of appointment plus the pay allowances and other fringe benefits. Some contracts mention only the variables such as the person’s name, salary, and role. While other information is present in an attache. Or a rules and regulations form. Both are admissible in court.
In the absence of the employment contract, workers are on “at-will” status. This allows the employer to have the right to fire employees at any time for any reason. Similarly, the employee has the right to go as well. This is neither safe for you or your employer.
A minimum of Fourteen working days can be taken as leave during any year. This means you get full wages for these days and you can take 14 days off. This is applicable after the service of 12 months.
All leaves that are not taken may accumulate over time14 days. You can also take 16 half-days alternatively.
The Maternity Benefit Ordinance, 1958 specifies that after completion of four months service, a female qualifies for up to six weeks prenatal and postnatal leave during which she is paid from her previous salaries.
No paternal leave for the father of the expected child. It is a very far-fetched dream for many countries to have a paternal leave.
Right to seek counsel
Additionally, all employees enjoy a Right to joining a trade union, right to collective bargain and strikes. There is a right to seek legal counsel regarding work issues. There is also the identification of a right to demand a wage increase and the right to promotion.
In case of an illegal strike or lockout, an Officer from the Labour Department may make a report to the Labour Court.
The trade union leader may be required to appear in court. Legal protests hold employers accountable. The Court may, within 10 days, order the strike or lockout to be stopped.
More info about Labor Laws in Pakistan:
Keep learning, keep growing! Good morning Pakistan!