This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Employment Laws Within Pakistan

In Pakistan, it is commonly believed that the country’s legal framework has a relatively limited number of well-established laws. While this assertion may be subject to correction in principal jurisdictions, in the context of Private Employment Laws, it cannot be deemed false. The situation stands to being as complex and nuanced as the common perception suggests.

The lack of comprehensive private employment laws within Pakistan is a complex issue, whereby potential employees and employers both are open to the possibility of being adversely effected.

The primary legal organization facilitating the creation of agreements/contracts between employers and employees for corporations is provided within the publications of the International Labour Organization, through which various laws were enacted by the Parliament. As stated above, the legislation at hand is rather complex. The complexity arises from the lack of addressing the key component of the business sectors; the private sector. The terminology employed by the laws of Pakistan do not directly align with the pertinent sector thereby engendering misconceptions and perplexities among legal practitioners and those subject to the applicability of these laws. To quote an example; Standing Orders Ordinance 1968 employs the terminology consisting of ‘commercial establishments’ and ‘construction industry’ which to a layman would not precisely reflect private sector. In an article published on the International Labour Organisation website, it is quoted that case laws in Pakistan have become increasingly ambiguous, thereby giving rise to significant legal uncertainties. This state of affairs therefore poses a considerable detriment to both employers and employees alike; which goes against the rule of law which demands law to be coherent and applicable in all jurisdictions.

Consistent legal rules found with regards to the employment laws in Pakistan includes; Factories Act 1934, Minimum Wage Ordinance 1961, Employment for Children Act 1991, Payment of Wages Act 1936, Social Security Ordinance 1965, Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923, Provincial Employees’ Social Security Ordinance 1965, Industrial and Commercial Employment Ordinance 1968, Punjab Shops and Establishments Ordinance 1969, Companies Profits Act 1968, Disabled Persons Ordinance 1981, Apprenticeship Ordinance 1962, Punjab Industrial Relations Act 2010, Industrial Relations Act 2012, Workers’ Welfare Fund Ordinance 1971, West Pakistan Maternity Benefit Ordinance 1962 and Workers’ Children Ordinance 1972.

Whilst these laws cover specific aspects of employments, such as industrial relations, minimum wage-related matters, safety upon premises, they may not explicitly or comprehensively address issues like termination, discrimination, harassment or employment contracts in the private sector. The formulation of these said laws contains one thing in common; the lack of application. Promulgated in the post-colonial era, they might not be able to cater to the present forms of labour present within Pakistan and to the work environment within which the employees of today exist. There has been little to none development with regards to this tangent, by which we derive the stated consensus that the employment laws in Pakistan have been in a complex position.

By labelling these laws complex and nuanced one does not mean that the existence is astray, rather its purpose is to fundamentally to strike a point at the application and lack thereof as they remain stagnant in the existence. For instance the oldest law to date, The Factories Act 1934 was established in its entirety with regards to the basis of labour employment. With reference to today’s world, it does not largely enlist laws on topics of harassment at workplace, or gender diversity. Among the deficiencies in the existing employment laws, the critical factor that significantly hampers their efficacy in Pakistan is the issue of inapplicability. Even though these laws were constructed in a manner to achieve utmost efficiency, they may not be as successful as desired in ensuring fair and just working conditions, protecting the workers’ rights or regulating employment-related matters at large.

While one category of employees, namely labourers benefit from a succinct rulebook – albeit due for update and adaptation – that governs their rights and conduct, private employees, in contrast, encounter a dearth of comprehensive regulations conducive to efficient compliance and reference.

The development of employment contracts within companies in Pakistan necessitates an extensive exploration of resources and diverse reference, primarily owing to the absence of comprehensive legislation governing private employment of the country. The contractual employees in Pakistan encounter complexities in the process of regularization, necessitating in-depth research of case laws and daily court rulings to ascertain the legal foundation of their rights. This backlash in response to the absence of comprehensive laws for private employees underscores the fundamental argument that the mere existence of laws and their practical application must be in synchrony. Laws serve little purpose if employees are compelled to rely on court judgements to discern their precise standing. In such a scenario, one might question the utility of laws altogether.