ISLAMABAD: Women Action for Better Workplaces (WAction) in a statement on Sunday had demanded that the Parliament and the Provincial Assemblies improve the quality of labour legislation to make it consistent, applicable and in accordance with the law of the land and best international practices.
It had been reported that as many as 130 federal and provincial laws partially cover the labour issues. Moreover, according to a qualitative analysis of the labour laws conducted by WAction stated that more than 80 laws exclusively deal with labour related matters.
Furthermore, it had been revealed that some parts of the labour laws are out-dated, while some need to evolve as per the changing realities of the modern day workforce. However, with little to no pressure on the legislative assemblies to amend this set of fragmented laws are practically non-existent.
The subject of labour was devolved to the provinces with the passage of the 18th Amendment in 2010. Consequently, 72 laws were introduced and passed by the Provincial Assemblies. 55 such laws almost replicate previous federal legislation, while 17 new laws; three in Punjab, eight in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), and six in Sindh – have been enacted by the provinces.
Another aspect of the audit analysis states that despite granting powers to the provinces, they have yet to adopt the necessary federal legislation required under the 18th Amendment.
At the moment, provinces are at different stages in terms of their pace of adoption.
Moreover, the labour laws lack absolute compliance with the international instruments, especially those that are related to improving the conditions of women workers in the workforce, including the International Labour Organization’s Convention on Equal Remuneration (C-100), Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (C-111), Convention on Labour Inspection (C-180) and Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Global best practices in labour legislation follow the principle of clear division into four streams that include terms of services and conditions, occupational safety and health, industrial relations and social security.
Furthermore, laws dealing with minimum wages and payment of wages also cross the terms of services and conditions for workers.
The Women Action for Better Workplaces (WAction), a project implemented by Trust for Democratic Education & Accountability (TDEA).