Pak Legal

Labour Law in Pakistan

Labour Law in Pakistan

The labour law in Pakistan is a complex and intricate system that governs the rights of workers in the country. It contains provisions that protect the rights of workers, including their right to fair wages, safe working conditions, and collective bargaining. The labour law is also responsible for regulating the employment relationship, including setting out minimum wage levels, specifying overtime hours, and prohibiting discrimination in the workplace. If you are a worker in Pakistan and you have questions about your rights or if you have been injured at work, it is important to speak to an experienced labour lawyer.

Labour Law

Labour Law in Pakistan

The Labour Law in Pakistan regulates the rights and duties of employees, employers, unions and labour inspectors. The law protects workers’ rights to freedom of association, collective bargaining and strike, as well as their right to a safe and healthy work environment.


The law also sets out minimum standards for pay and employment conditions, including hours of work, holidays, maternity leave and sick leave. The Labour Department is charged with enforcing these provisions, although enforcement is often lax.


The Labour Law does not prescribe a specific retirement age, but employees are entitled to pension benefits at the age of 55. In addition, employers must contribute to employee benefit schemes such as provident funds.

Joint Labour Law in Pakistan

The Labour Law of Pakistan is one of the most comprehensive labour laws in the region. The law covers a wide range of areas, including minimum wage, hourly wages, overtime pay, protection of workers’ rights, and social security. The law also provides for severance pay and insurance benefits for workers who are injured or become ill on the job.


The Labour Law has been amended several times since its enactment in 1948. The most recent amendment was adopted in 2013 and makes significant changes to the country’s labour law landscape. Key provisions include:

– The minimum wage has been increased to Rs 2,000 per month from Rs 1,250 per month


– Overtime pay is now mandatory at a rate of 100% of normal salary for work over 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week, up from the previous 50% maximum

– The right to join a union is now guaranteed

– Protection against sexual harassment has been included as a protected category under the Labour Law

International Labour Organisation

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is the primary global agency responsible for protecting the rights of workers. It was founded in 1919 and has more than 190 member states. The ILO’s main objectives are to promote and protect the rights of workers to earn a living, enjoy safe and healthy work, form and join unions and have their concerns heard on labour-related issues.


In Pakistan, labour law is administered by the Ministry of Labour. The Ministry’s mandate is to protect the rights of workers, promote collective bargaining, resolve disputes between workers and employers, develop regulations related to employment conditions, improve working conditions for vulnerable categories of workers such as women and children, and enforce labour laws. In addition, the Ministry oversees social security schemes for employees, including unemployment insurance and health benefits.

Labour Law

Labour Law Practice in Pakistan

Labour law in Pakistan is a complex system with various laws and regulations. The Constitution of Pakistan, as well as the Labour Act, of 1948 (as amended from time to time), provide the foundation for labour law in the country. The main governing statute is the Labour Act of 1948 which covers all aspects of labour relations in Pakistan. There are also a number of subsidiary statutes that deal with specific topics such as minimum wage, overtime pay, child labour, etc. The Labour Department is responsible for implementing and enforcing the provisions of the Labour Act of 1948.

There are several Ordinances, Acts, Rules, Regulations, and other statutes relating to Industrial, Commercial, and Labour Establishments that are widely scattered and inaccessible under Pakistani labour law. As a result of these laws, employers, employees, trade unions, and the concerned agencies can realize their respective responsibilities and become aware of their prescribed legal rights. These laws aim to achieve higher productivity, reasonable profits, and better wages and protect the workforce from exploitation and unjust treatment.

Labour Laws in Pakistan date back to the pre-partition era, which shaped labour laws and policy-making in the country. They were progressive in that they allowed trade union activities in all sectors and workers had the right to collective bargaining. Labour laws under the Constitution of Pakistan.


Pakistan’s Constitution contains provisions regarding labour rights in Part II: Fundamental Rights and Policy Principles.

  • Slavery, forced labour, and child labour are prohibited by Article 11 of the Constitution.

  • According to Article 17, the right to form unions and to freely associate is a fundamental right.

  • According to Article 18, its citizens are forbidden from engaging in any lawful profession or occupation or conducting any lawful trade or business.

  • There is a right to equality before the law enshrined in Article 25 as well as a prohibition on discrimination based solely on sex.

  • In accordance with Article 37(e), just and humane conditions of employment are ensured, as well as maternity benefits for women in employment.


After 12 months of continuous service, an employee is entitled to 14 calendar days of paid annual leave. (Section 49-B of the Factories Act).


Festivals (public and religious) are paid holidays for workers. The Ministry of Interior, Islamabad, and the Provincial Government announce festival holidays at the start of the calendar year (usually 14 in number) (Section 49-I of the Factories Act).


Every worker is entitled to one day of rest per week (24 consecutive hours). Sunday is usually the weekly rest day. The worker cannot be forced to work consecutively for 10 days without receiving a compensatory holiday of one full day if he is on holiday. (Section 35 of the Factories Act).

Labour Law


As a result of the obligations attached to the debt, bonded labour is considered to be similar to slavery. In many cases, the creditor artificially inflates the amount of the debt, adding excessive interest and deducting little or none from the actual debt. The creditor also uses instruments of obligation to coerce repayment of the debt, in addition to violent threats. Housing, clothing, and food costs are added to the debt, which increases over time, making the bondage last a lifetime and even generations.

The Bondage System violates fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The right to freedom of movement (Article 15), the right to assembly (Article 16), the right to association (Article 17), the right to the profession (Article 18), the right to freedom of speech (Article 19) and the right to be an equal citizen (Article 25) is taken away by being kept under Bonded Labour.

Forced labour is prohibited by Article 11(3) of the Pakistani Constitution. To combat the Bonded Labour System, the following laws are in place:

  • In 1992, the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act was passed

  • In 1995, the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Rules were passed

  • In 2015, the Sindh Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act was passed

  • In 2015, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act came into effect

  • (Amendment, 2012) Punjab Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1992

  • In 2020, Gilgit-Baltistan Bonded/Forced Labour System (Abolition) Act introduced.

  • The Punjab Prohibition of Child Labour at Brick Kilns Act of 2016
  • Act to prevent human trafficking, 2018
  • Penal Code of Pakistan, 1860

The compensation system for Labour


Section 47 of the Factories Act, 1934 states that if a worker works beyond the stipulated working hours, i.e., 9 hours a day and 48 hours a week, he is entitled to double his normal salary (200% of the normal wage rate). Workers in seasonal factories may work up to 56 hours per week.


Overnight workers does not receive a special pay premium.


Sexual harassment of workers is prohibited by law and is punishable under the Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2010. Those convicted of sexual harassment can be imprisoned for a maximum of three years, or fined PKR 5 lakh (0.5 million), or both. Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, Section 509.

SAFETY & HEALTH of Labours


A safe and healthy working environment is required by Chapter 3 of the Factories Act. (Section 13-33Q)


There is no specific provision in the law regarding the provision of protective clothing, but Labour Protection Policy 2006 directs enterprises to provide workers with protective clothing and equipment. Additionally, the Factories Act, of 1934 (Sec. 23-A) requires workers to be vaccinated and inoculated, and the employer must bear the costs.

The training process

According to the Factories Act, employers must provide employees with instruction, training, and supervision to ensure their health and safety at work. (Section 38)


The country’s labour laws provide for an independent labour inspection system. In spite of this, there is no central inspection authority and the inspection system is province-based.



Social security laws provide both full and partial/early pensions. A worker must reach 60 years of age (55 years for women) with at least 15 years of contributions to qualify for a full pension. Those with at least 15 years of contributions and ages 55 to 59 (men) or 50 to 54 (women) receive a reduced pension. 2% of a worker’s average monthly earnings in the last 12 months multiplied by the number of years he or she has contributed is the amount of an old-age pension. Full pensions are reduced by 0.5% for each month taken before retirement age (i.e., a worker who takes a pension after 55 gets only 70% of the full pension). A worker may also qualify for an old-age grant if he or she does not meet the requirements for a full or partial pension. Since 1 April 2015, EOBI’s minimum monthly pension has been raised from Rs. 3,600 to Rs. 5,250. (Section 22 of the Employees’ Old Age Benefits Act, 1976)


Survivor benefits are provided by Social Security (these include widows, widowers, and children). The deceased worker must have been a pensioner at the time of his or her death. Each spouse receives 100% of the deceased minimum pension. Orphans receive this if their spouses are deceased. If there is no spouse or orphans, the deceased’s parents are paid this pension up to five years after the worker’s death. From 1 April 2015, the minimum monthly pension from EOBI has been raised from Rs. 3,600 to Rs. 5,250. (Section 22-B of the Employees’ Old Age Benefits Act, 1976)


Non-occupational accidents/injuries/diseases resulting in permanent invalidity are covered by the above acts. 2% of the average monthly earnings in the last 12 months multiplied by the number of years of covered employment is paid if a worker is deemed to have a 67% loss in earning capacity. As of April 1, 2015, EOBI’s minimum monthly pension has been raised from Rs. 3,600 to Rs. 5,250. Employees Old Age Benefits Act, 1976, Section 23.

Labour Law


Article 11 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan states that children under the age of fourteen are not permitted to work in factories, mines, or other hazardous jobs. Due to the crucial role education plays in eradicating child labour, Article 25-A was added to the Constitution under the 18th Constitutional Amendment 2010, requiring that the state provide free and compulsory education to all children aged five to sixteen. In order to control and combat child labor, education is one of the most effective methods.

In addition, the Employment of Children Act 1991 and Rules 1995, as well as the Children (Pledging) of Labour Act and Employment of Children Rules, have been implemented in order to curb this practice.



Domestic workers work in or for another person’s home. An individual must be engaged in domestic work within an employment relationship in order to qualify as a domestic worker. There is no specific law in Pakistan for the rights of domestic workers, but ILO’s new convention provides them.


According to the new convention, domestic workers must be provided with basic/fundamental rights on par with all other workers. Furthermore, it requires:

  • Written contracts inform domestic workers of their employment conditions in an understandable manner.
  • There are provisions for overtime compensation, periods of daily and weekly rest, and annual paid leave for domestic workers, who work only normal hours (which are 48 hours a week in Pakistan).
  • A country’s minimum age and minimum wage regulations are adhered to.
  • Only a limited portion of wages may be paid in kind. Wages are to be paid in cash.



According to section 15 of the West Pakistan Minimum Wage Rules, 1962, wages will be fixed based on the principle of equal remuneration for equal work. The federal government is working on a draft of a Provincial law on anti-discrimination, which can be adopted by the Provincial Legislative assemblies since there is no specific law in the country dealing with equal remuneration.


According to Article 27 of the Constitution, “No citizen otherwise qualified for appointment in the service of Pakistan shall be discriminated against in respect of any such appointment solely on the basis of race, religion, caste, sex, residence or place of birth.”. Public sector jobs are the focus of this article. There is no similar provision for non-discrimination in the private sector.


(Factories Act, 1934) prohibits women from working in the same industries as men. Moreover, section 27 of the Constitution of Pakistan 2010 also provides for gender-based occupational segregation by stating that “specified posts or services may be reserved for members of either sex if they require performing duties and functions that cannot be adequately performed by members of the other sex”.



Employees are entitled to a maximum of twelve weeks (or three months) of maternity leave with full pay. There is a six-week post-natal leave requirement. (Section 4 of the West Pakistan Maternity Benefit Ordinance, 1958). Public sector maternity leave is also 90 days (3 months), and wages are paid during this time.

The income

Maternity leave is paid in full. A woman must have worked in enterprise for at least four months prior to the date of delivery in order to qualify. (West Pakistan Maternity Benefit Ordinance, 1958, Section 4)


A woman entitled to maternity benefits under section 36 is entitled to prenatal confinement and postnatal medical care under section 38 of The Provincial Employees Social Security Ordinance, 1965.

Labour Law



As a result of the Constitution and Labour Law, workers and employers have the right to form unions and to associate freely. (Section 3 of the Industrial Relations Act 2012). There is also freedom of association in the Constitution, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of Pakistan’s sovereignty or integrity, public order and morality (Article 17). There are many exclusions in IRA 2012 which prevent workers from forming and joining unions.


As of Section 19 of the Industrial Relations Act, 2012, employees can bargain collectively through their representatives.


Strikes are not considered fundamental rights. Moreover, go-slow actions are considered unfair labor practices, strikes longer than 30 days can be prohibited by government order, and a party or the government can unilaterally compel arbitration, undermining the right to strike (Industrial Relations Act, 2012, Sections 41-48).


We represent clients in industries with unions, such as law enforcement and teachers. Collective bargaining, union creation, and union-management negotiations are frequently handled by our firm. Also, we handle legal disputes through lawsuits or out-of-court settlements such as arbitration. In addition, we can serve as hearing officers in cases of contested representation.

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