Home-based workers: Labour Department proposes pilot project in three districts

Workers in Lahore, Sialkot, Multan to get registered; work on policy continues.


Ali Usman November 29, 2011

LAHORE:


The Labour Department should launch a pilot project in three districts to register home-based workers before a draft provincial policy on such workers is finalised.


Chief Minister’s Adviser Begum Zakia Shahnawaz made this proposal at a meeting with Labour Department, Industries Department and Social Welfare Department officials on Tuesday.

A draft of the policy is currently with the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, but a pilot scheme should be launched in Lahore, Sialkot and Multan to see how it works, she proposed.

“We want to make this policy soon but we don’t want to leave any lacunae so it would be appropriate to do it as a pilot project first and then do it for the whole province. We are trying to do things practically and the chief minister is committed to working for the rights of labourers,” said Shahnawaz.

Labour Secretary Hassan Iqbal has formed four groups tasked with different jobs related to home-based workers, a participant of the meeting told The Express Tribune. The ‘policy review’ group will be headed by the labour secretary; the ‘plan of action’ group will be headed by Labour Joint Director Syed Hasnat Javed; the ‘induction’ group, which would incorporate the recommendations from the project into the draft policy, will be headed by Social Welfare Director General Malik Aslam; and the ‘research’ group will be headed by Industries Deputy Secretary Dr Ismat Nadeem.

Our aim is to make a policy for home-based workers. We are thinking about whether to fit them into the formal workers set-up or register them as labourers,” said Iqbal.

As per the official figures, there are 8.52 million home-based workers in Pakistan out of which 65 per cent are women.

They make a large portion of the economy but aren’t registered under labour laws and don’t have any social security protection.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2011.

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