practice area articles
By Raza Hassan, Zahir Riaz and Masham Sheraz
Back to International Employment Law
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2020
Amendments to Companies Act 2017
The Companies Act 2017 has been amended to cater to the specific needs of start-ups. The amendments include the removal of the time limit for payment of subscription money, the introduction of employees' stock options and share buy-backs, and the issuance of 'sweat' equity for private limited companies. The new provisions also provide powers to the corporate regulator in Pakistan to enact rules and regulations for promoting ease of doing business and the smooth running of companies.
Relief for Employers during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Federal Government and State Bank of Pakistan have announced a special refinance scheme, which is expected to ease cash flow constraints of employers by providing low interest loans to finance wages and salaries.
Protection of workers' rights during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Islamabad Capital Territory and Sindh Governments have passed notifications directing that, during the notified lockdown period due to COVID-19, no worker will be laid off and all workers shall be paid wages in full by their respective employers.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2019
Greater protections for transgender people
Since 2018, transgender people have been afforded the same protections to dignity and security as other members of the public. Transgender people are now formally recognised by law, as “any person whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the society norms and cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at the time of their birth”. There is no legal requirement for a transgender person to obtain consent from a medical board to be recognised as their desired gender.
Criminalising failure to pay minimum wage
From December 2018, it is a criminal offence for employers to pay their labourers less than the minimum wage of Rs 15,000 per month.
Greater support for women in the workplace
In 2019, the government is expected to implement measures aimed at facilitating women labourers in the workplace. Such measures are expected to include the establishment of day-care centres and female-only bathrooms and canteens.