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Employment legislation: Labour rights hammered out in shops, establishment bill


PESHAWAR: 

In a session which has ushered in several bills on labour protection, the K-P Assembly also introduced the K-P Shops and Establishment Bill 2015 on Tuesday. The proposed law regulates work hours and conditions for employees at shops as well as commercial, industrial and other establishments.

According to the bill, a commercial establishment is one which carries on any business or profession, direct or ancillary. Many examples are given, ranging from charity organisations to insurance companies to health centres. An industrial establishment is explained to be a manufacturer or in the service industry, related to sale, delivery, transport or disposal.

Timings and leaves

People employed in any of the above-mentioned ventures will be mandated one day off or holiday each week, states Sub-section 1 of Section 6. This will be in addition to leaves or public holidays.

Sub-section 3 of Section 6 lays onus on employers to give daily wagers or piece work employees their day off at the rate of the average wage received in the week. Piece work employees are those who are paid per unit produced.

Section 15 mandates employees will be allowed leave with full wages for a period of 14 days after continuous employment for 12 months. Employees will also be allowed paid casual leaves for 10 days in a calendar year in addition to eight sick days annually.

Every worker will be entitled to holidays with pay on days declared by the government as public holidays. Employers are barred from deducting the salary of employees on account of holidays.

Section 7 of the law regulates the opening and closing hours of shops and other establishments. All employers are mandated to display the timings at a prominent place.

Its first sub-section states no establishment shall on any day remain open after 9pm.

On sex and age

“Except with the permission of the government, no woman or young person (14 to 19 years of age) shall be employed in any establishment [outside] the hours of 8am to 7pm,” states sub-section 4.

According to Section 8, no adult employee can work in any establishment in excess of eight hours a day and 48 hours a week. No young person can work in excess of seven hours a day and 42 hours a week.

Overtime will be calculated, according to the bill, at “double the ordinary rate of wages” payable to the employee.

Paymasters

Section 11 delineates the conditions and timelines of the payment of wages. It states no wage period shall exceed one month. It goes on to add that “the wages of every employee in any establishment shall be paid on a working day before the expiry of the seventh day of the last day of the wage period of which the wages are payable.”

For claims over delay in payment or malicious claims, the affected parties can approach an authority set up under the K-P Payment of Wages Act, 2013. Appeals against decisions taken by this authority can be made, within 30 days, at a labour court.

Resignation, termination

Employers and employees both have to give a month’s notice before termination or leaving.

Inspectors

The government will appoint a chief inspector for shops in K-P in addition to deputy chief inspectors and inspectors for areas yet to be notified.

First offence in contradiction with the law shall elicit a Rs2,000 fine; the second a Rs10,000 fine and any subsequent offence can extend up to Rs 20,000 or imprisonment or both.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2015. 

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