The Industrial Relations Advisers,

Management & Labour Laws Consultants


Room 3, 1st floor, Falaknuma Building, Near The Laboratory & Haroon Radio, Abdullah Haroon Road, Karachi

Phone: 2727266 & 2729770 Fax: 2729770 (SM Iqbal) Cell: 0333-2314892 Email: 




                    No. C-88Date: 24-09-2002





the new labour policy, 2002


The Federal Government has announced its new Labour Policy and its some aspects are explained below:


1- It must be noted that the Labour Policy announced by the Government is not a law but only a statement of the policies which the Government may follow in the labour matters and those parts of which are implemented through law become part of the law and enforced by the law.


2-    The Governments have been announcing their Labour Policies from time to time but the Labour Policy of 1969 made under Air Marshal Nur Khan during the then Martial Law stood on the top in many respects and it also followed soon by implementing its some parts by promulgating the Industrial Relations Ordinance, 1969 and the West Pakistan Minimum Wages for Unskilled Workers Ordinance, 1969. The new Labour Policy announced encompasses more aspects in it and it is claimed that there is about 90% consensus of the employers and the employees/workers on the policy through mutual consultations due to efforts of late Omar Asghar Khan.


3- The policy aims at tripartite formulation of policies, places emphasis on bilateralism, consolidation of labour laws, bilateral settlement of disputes and speedy justice in labour matters by simplification of system and reform in labour judiciary with no government intervention except in case of failure of the bilateral mechanism. The government shall act more as a facilitator. It also aims at promoting Social Security measures and improving Labour Welfare Institutions like the Workers Welfare Fund, E.O.B.I and Social Security Institutions, promotion of healthy trade unionism and improvements in workers children education, child labour, bonded labour and avoidance of gender discrimination, keeping view the ILO conventions ratified by Pakistan.


4-  While announcing the policy, the Federal Labour Minister stated to regulate the rights of the contract labour when a contract in writing may be given by the employer to a contractor of peripheral, temporary and casual natures of jobs and licensing system of contractors shall be introduced. This may be included in one the proposed new laws. The policy also states to look into Section 2-A and Section 27-B of the Service Tribunal Act, 1973 and the Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962 respectively regarding ouster of jurisdiction of labour judiciary in public sector and prohibition of holding trade union office by a non-employee in the Banking Companies.


5-  The minimum wages of the workers shall be revised once after every three years in consultation with the National Tripartite Minimum Wages Council to be formed by the Government. A Tripartite National Occupational Safety and Health Council shall be established for the purpose as its name suggests. It also aims to improve and update existing law relating to the transport workers. The laws relating to the mine workers and their welfare shall be revised and steps shall be taken to extend the benefits of Social Security, E.O.B. and Workers Welfare Fund to them.


6- The policy places great emphases on Human Resource Development though the Human Resource Development Ordinance relating of apprenticeship, vocational training, rehabilitation of disabled persons, and under this law Skill Development Councils shall be formed.


7- The policy states to consolidate various labour laws into six new labour laws in the light of recommendations of the Labour Commission constituted and appointed by the Government. The Conditions of Employment Ordinance is to be made applicable to the establishments employing 10 or more workers. The policy mentions some provisions, changes, modifications and amendments to be incorporated in these new labour laws. The Labour Appellate Tribunal is being abolished and then the appeal will go to the High Court as was previously under the amended Industrial Dispute Ordinance, 1959 and having bitter experience of delays in the High Courts, the West Pakistan Industrial Disputes Ordinance, 1968 and similar Ordinance of East Pakistan replacing the above Ordinance provided the Industrial Appellate Tribunal which has been retained in IRO, 1969 and this has also been incorporated in the Indian Law by amendments in the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947. The previous mistake is being again repeated and it seems that we are not prepared to learn from our past mistakes. Appointing sitting High Court Judge as fulltime Chairman of the Appellate Tribunal instead of senile retired judge as demanded would have been more appropriate. The Industrial Relations Ordinance, 2002 replacing IRO, 1969 approved by the cabinet is being promulgated and then we shall give our detail comments thereon and so also on the other new labour laws when the same are promulgated.


8- Labour Welfare levies under different laws collected and distributed by different institutions shall be streamlined to avoid inconvenience to the workers and employers. Labour Market Information System shall be developed with ILO and UNDP funding. Inspection services under the labour laws shall also be reorganised and streamlined. The policy also states about Research and to reorganise training facilities.


9-   The policy may be read to know its various details. The policy and this Circular are available on our above website.




(S. M. Yaqoob & S. M. Iqbal)

Industrial Relations Advisers &

Labour Laws Consultants