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Punjab new labour policy today

LAHORE: Punjab is going to launch its new labour policy here today (Friday), suggesting some lawmaking to enhance the role of social partners in improving the condition of workers.

In the official document, an attempt has also been made to extend the legal and welfare covers to domestic and home-based workers.

To be formally launched by Labour and Human Resource Minister Ansar Majeed Khan, it proposes a steering committee to oversee implementation of the policy through a unit, serving as secretariat of the Labour Policy.

A senior official told Dawn that in view of the demands for decent living wages, the policy entrusts the Minimum Wages Board with holding tripartite meetings, also attended by eminent economic experts, for identifying the minimum level of wage enough to subsistence as per current inflation and consumer price index before giving a decision, acceptable to all the stakeholders.

Necessary provisions will be added to all relevant laws for addressing discrimination in remuneration and employment on basis of sex, religion, caste, origin, etc and the payment of wages through scheduled banks.

Promising a law on domestic workers, the policy proposes a separate inspection regime for effectively implementing domestic workers policy within months.

For curbing child labour ‘gradually’, it recommends a province-wide survey of child workers, extending scope of vigilance committees, introducing online reporting mechanism and notifying inspectors under the new child labour laws for effective implementation.

It calls for more steps to discourage bonded labour like preferring to procure bricks for public projects from the kilns adhering to the law and improving reporting.

The policy also suggests a centralised database of workers allocating unique code to all establishments and linked with the Federal Board of Revenue, Punjab Revenue Authority, all directorates, hospitals, dispensaries, social welfare centres and other relevant departments and units for easy cross-verification of workers, their documents, contributions and dues.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2018

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